Hot Springs woman drowns in French Broad River

HOT SPRINGS, N.C. (AP) — A Hot Springs woman whom authorities describe as developmentally disabled fell out of an inner tube on the French Broad River and drowned despite a friend's efforts to save her.

Authorities say 45-year-old Delores Johnson and a friend started out on an inner tube in Spring Creek, which flows into the French Broad. They say she fell out of the inner tube in the much rougher river and drowned Monday.

Madison County Chief Deputy Michael Garrison said Johnson could not swim and wasn't wearing a life jacket. Garrison says Johnson was developmentally disabled, as is her friend who accompanied her.

The sheriff says the friend was unable to pull Johnson to safety.

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