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Authorities release name of man who drowned in Susquehanna River

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Norman Wood Bridge and the Holtwood Dam are shown on the Susquehanna River. The river has long and important history in the immediate region and beyond.

The body of a Lancaster County man who drowned in the Susquehanna River over the weekend has been recovered, according to state police.

The 18-year-old Lititz resident was swimming with friends Saturday just south of the Norman Wood bridge when he was swept downstream by the current, according to a news release from state police.

On Wednesday, the Lancaster County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Dax Stauffer.

His cause of death was freshwater drowning, and the manner of his death has been ruled an accident, according to the coroner's office.

Trooper Kelly Osborne, a state police spokesperson, said Stauffer's body was recovered Tuesday morning.

He disappeared in the river about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Two juvenile male friends swimming with him lost sight of him after he was swept away, according to state police.

A search operation was launched from the York County side of the river, at the Muddy Creek boat access point in Lower Chanceford Township, police said.

But the search was halted about 9:30 p.m. Saturday because of dangerous river conditions, according to state police.

Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Co. headed up the search efforts, according to the Lancaster County 911 Center. Also participating were Lancaster County's Robert Fulton Water Rescue Team and Conestoga Water Rescue, Phoenixville Rescue from Chester County, state police and others.

During the initial Saturday-night search, five rescue boats were deployed, as were five dive teams, according to state police. Searchers also used side-scanning radar, police said.

An autopsy on Stauffer's body was performed, according to the Lancaster County Coroner's Office.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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