Vale youth drowns in Payette River

Multiple police and emergency services agencies, including the Malheur County Sheriff's Office, responded to a drowning incident Sunday afternoon near New Plymouth.

NEW PLYMOUTH – A 3-year-old Vale boy drowned in the Payette River Sunday afternoon, the Payette County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lt. Andy Creech of the Payette County Sheriff’s Office said Jax Hale was playing in the water with his family near the bank of the river at about 3:50 p.m. near New Plymouth when the current carried the youth into the river. 

Creech said the boy was not wearing a life jacket and the coroner declared the death to be from drowning.

“It is by all appearances a very tragic accident,” said Creech. “My understanding he was out there with his father and some siblings playing in the . . .