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FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2007
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River drowning called accidental

LACEY’S SPRING — A Huntsville man drowned accidentally in the Tennessee River late Wednesday night.

The victim, Julian Reyes, 27, was swimming with a friend on the Morgan County side of the Whitesburg Bridge just south of Huntsville when the drowning occurred, Morgan County Coroner Russ Beard said.

The friend came out of the water, and when he noticed Reyes didn’t come to the riverbank and did not respond to his voice, he called emergency officials for help, he said.

The victim’s friend was distressed, and because of the language barrier, it was hard to get exact details of what occurred, Beard said. Both the victim and his friend were Hispanic. But the friend did say Reyes wasn’t a strong swimmer and they were both in the river only a short time.

The Madison County Rescue Squad pulled Reyes out of the water, and Beard pronounced him dead at 11:55 p.m.

Huntsville police helped the coroner locate a relative in Huntsville. Beard said he believes Reyes’ parents live in Virginia.

Paul Huggins

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