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Lincoln man drowns, son hospitalized after Pawnee Lake incident

LINCOLN, Neb. – A Lincoln man drowned and his son was hospitalized after an incident at Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County on June 17.

It is presumed that Christian Montoya, 28, died of an accidental drowning at the Area 1 beach. His son, 2-year-old Christian Montoya Jr., was taken to an area hospital in good condition.

A 911 call was made at 2:57 p.m., with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office responding. Other responding agencies include the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Malcolm Fire and Rescue, Raymond Fire and Rescue and the Lincoln Dive Team.

Eyewitness reports indicate the man and his son were on a flotation device that was blown out of the swimming area, and both eventually ended up in the water. The man had difficulty getting the boy to shore. A citizen on a personal watercraft picked up the boy and took him to shore. The man had disappeared when the citizen returned to pick him up.

Neither the man nor the child was wearing a life jacket.

The man’s body was recovered by the dive team at 6:30 p.m. after three Game and Parks boats equipped with side-scan sonar searched the area.

An autopsy will be performed.

Game and Parks is investigating the incident.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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