Sheriff: 'Alcohol a factor' in Albany man's drowning

SCIO, Ore. -- An Albany man drowned in the North Santiam River Wednesday night after he was swimming in the river near the Buell Miller boat ramp.

Alcohol played a part in the drowning, the Linn County Sheriff's Office said.

Officials reported that 53-year-old Steve Brunson was swimming in the river at the end of the boat ramp. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Deputies were called out to the river at around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday when people on the shore said they hadn't Brunson for about 5 minutes.

Witnesses told the arriving deputies that he had come to the area with his wife, Margaret, but started swimming in the river alone.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office Dive Team worked with local fire departments to try and locate the man.

He was found underwater at around 7 p.m., nearly 50 feet from the boat ramp.

Officials said that medics tried to resuscitate the man, but they were unsuccessful.