The 15-year old Chiawana High School student who was pulled from the Columbia River on August 11th, 2017 died from low voltage electrocution.
According to a report from the Franklin County Coroner’s office, Cole Grad’s death has been ruled an accident.
When first responders were called out to the shore of the Columbia River at the end of Road 80 where Cole had gone into the water, they discovered that the area was electrified by a pipe coming from a privately-owned pump house near by. Fire fighters felt the electricity as they tried entering the water, and held back while they tried to identify the source of the electricity.
First responders broke into the pump house and shut off the electricity, which allowed them to safely enter the water to recover Cole’s body.
Initially, the Coroner’s office had ruled the death as a drowning, but after further testing determined that the primary cause of death was electrical shock by freshwater drowning.