Tumwater Canyon Near Leavenworth Claims Two Lives

Two Adventist women, Meghan Doggett, 21, and Mindy Cosaert, 16, died by drowning in the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth, Washington, on July 15.

Cosaert and a friend were crossing the river on an air mattress and were caught in an unexpectedly strong current and swept downstream into the nearly mile-long rapids. Doggett dove in to try to save them but died in the attempt. Cosaert, however, was found unconscious after being underwater for some 15 minutes. Although CPR was administered, she never regained consciousness and passed away on Tuesday, July 18.

Cosaert had just completed her sophomore year at Walla Walla Valley Academy and was spending the summer with relatives in Wenatchee. She is the daughter of Walla Walla College professor of theology Carl Cosaert and his wife Carol. Carl gave the homily at his daughter's memorial service. He said, “Mindy was a very spiritual person. Her faith meant a lot to her.”

Doggett is the daughter of Carol and Mark Doggett. For several years she had lived with Eric and Kris Collier and for the past two years with Mark and Wendy Witas. Mark Witas is the Cascade Christian Academy principal in Wenatchee, Wash. Doggett worked at Children's Home Society in Wenatchee, volunteered as a youth leader in her church and was a former student at Walla Walla College. Wendy Witas said, “Meghan was so amazing, enthusiastic and fun. She shared the light of Jesus to everyone around her."

“She would have been devastated if she hadn’t jumped in that river and done everything she tried to do,” Kris Collier said.

September 01, 2006 / North Pacific Union