Man Drowns in Calaveras River

On Monday, February 25th a body was recovered by the San Joaquin County Coroner’s office from the Calaveras River in close proximity to the University of the Pacific. The man was identified as 41 year old Leroy Cauceda, a native of Stockton, California. After investigation, Police ruled that Sauceda’s cause of death was by accidental drowning. Witnesses told authorities that the man was partially clothed and seem to fall into the river by Pacific Avenue while bathing.A boat rescue crew from the Stockton Fire Department was able to retrieve his body, but he could not be revived.

Water levels in the Calaveras River has increased since the influx of rain from recent storms.  According to RecordNet, the water level from New Hogan lake has been “130 percent” of the normal amount. New Hogan Lake is an artificial lake that resides in Calaveras County about 30 miles away from Stockton that sits on the Calaveras River. According to a source cited by RecordNet, Sauceda was a “father, friend, brother. To his friends, he was known as Lil’ Lee.” Residents of Calaveras Hall at University of the Pacific had some thoughts on the tragic situation. When asked if the drowning concerned them about living in close proximity to the river, Cecilia Wong, 21’ said, “I don’t feel unsafe, but I just feel bad for the guy [who drowned].”

Another resident had questions about how the university’s Public Safety dealt with the issue. Students and faculty were not notified through any form of communication about Cauceda’s drowning. “I feel like they didn’t notify is because they probably thought it did not pertain to us because it was not a student who drowned,” said Jordan Shui, 21’. “But it kind of speaks to their carelessness,” she added. “[Public Safety] should have sent out a warning that the river [was] getting stronger because of the rains.”

Stockton police is warning people that the river is more dangerous, colder, and powerful because of water flowing from the upstream reservoir.

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Jo Ann Kirby

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