Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Bill would post signs about cold-water peril

March 23, 2021, was a sunny day in Lewis County.

Zachary Lee Rager, an 18-year-old Centralia teen wanting to take advantage of the pleasant weather, headed to a familiar hangout with some friends, a bridge connecting the banks of the Chehalis River.

When Rager jumped, he did not know how cold the water would be. He did not know the temperature would be 42 degrees Fahrenheit.

“He jumped off this bridge so many times, he’d done this time and time again with all his friends,” Lee Hines, Zachary’s stepfather said. “But the difference this time was the river changed.”

Despite his friends’ rescue ef...


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