Cold water may have contributed to UO football player's death

Cold water may have contributed to UO football player's death »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- A red shirt freshman on the University of Oregon football team drowned Sunday in the McKenzie River.

Todd Doxey, 19, died at a hospital Sunday night. He had jumped from a bridge into the river and struggled to swim to shore. A boater pulled him from the water and started administering CPR.

How could this happen to someone as physcially fit as a college athlete?

Temperatures in the 80s and 90s makes it pretty tempting to cool off in the rivers.

Deputy Sheriff Paul Vitus said that even in the summer heat, the rivers around Eugene are about 62 degrees.

That's cold enough to cause hypothermia.

Vitus said it doesn't matter how physically fit someone is: the water has a near-paralyzing effect on anybody and can shut down your vital organs.

"Your body will shut down to protect itself," Vitus said. "That's what happens. People go into comas and they just shut down."