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Man and nephew who drowned in California Aqueduct are identified

A 9-year-old boy and his 48-year-old uncle who drowned in the California Aqueduct in Hesperia were identified Thursday night by the California Highway Patrol.

Miguel Ortiz Jr. was walking on the eastbound side of the waterway around noon Thursday when he fell in. His uncle, Fino Hernandez, jumped in to try to save him, according to the CHP.

Neither the nephew nor the uncle knew how to swim, the CHP said. Both were Hesperia residents.

The boy's 6-year-old brother witnessed the incident and flagged down a state Department of Water Resource employee who called 911.

The victims were pulled out of the aqueduct by a San Bernardino County Fire Department swift-water rescue team and Sheriff's Department deputies. They were pronounced dead at Desert Valley Hospital.

The CHP is investigating the incident. 


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