Texas tourist, 30, dies after fall into frigid Chicago River - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Texas tourist, 30, dies after fall into frigid Chicago River

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(Alicia Garnett, 30, died after falling in the frigid water of the Chicago River early Tuesday) (Alicia Garnett, 30, died after falling in the frigid water of the Chicago River early Tuesday)
Rescue crews searched for a person who fell into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Loop. (George Slefo/Sun-Times Media) Rescue crews searched for a person who fell into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Loop. (George Slefo/Sun-Times Media)
(FOX 32 photographer Christian Mahnke) (FOX 32 photographer Christian Mahnke)
Hailey Barham, 28, an Indianapolis native, said she called the police after she saw a female fall into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Loop. (George Slefo/Sun-Times Media) Hailey Barham, 28, an Indianapolis native, said she called the police after she saw a female fall into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Loop. (George Slefo/Sun-Times Media)
Rescue crews searched for a person who fell into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Loop. (George Slefo/Sun-Times Media) Rescue crews searched for a person who fell into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Loop. (George Slefo/Sun-Times Media)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A woman who rescue crews pulled the frigid water of the Chicago River early Tuesday in the Loop has died, police said.

A witness told authorities she saw a woman fall into the Chicago River about 3:40 a.m. in the 300 block of North Michigan Avenue, police said. She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 5:20 a.m.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the death of 30 year-old Alicia Garnett.

Hailey Barham, who is visiting from Indianapolis, said she was driving when she saw a "hysterical" woman on Michigan Avenue near the Wacker Drive intersection, begging a cab driver to call police.

"The cab driver didn't call police. He just drove off," she said, later identifying the woman on the street as a friend of the person in the water. "I'm the one that called 911."

FOX 32 News photographer Christian Mahnke was one of the first of the media on the scene, arriving before police and fire were called. He was listening to the police scanner when he heard the woman waving her arms and asking for someone to call 911.

Mahnke said CFD arrived soon after, and the woman frantically explained that the other woman had fallen into the freezing water from an area between Michigan Ave. and Columbus Drive. Deputy District Fire Chief Ron Dornekez said she was in the water for more than 15 minutes.

Mahnke said the divers and paramedics went into the water very quickly upon arriving at the scene and pulled the woman from the icy water around 4 a.m. She was unresponsive.

"One person from the fire department scuba team pulled her out," he said. "It was a typical dive and pull."

Garnett was with another female and a male, Barham, 28, said. She added that the trio was staying at the Omni Hotel, 676 N. Michigan Ave., and were visiting from Houston.

"I was in the squad car talking to police with her friend," Barham said. "[Her friend] was really shaken up. She was scared."

Area Central detectives are investigating.

FOX 32 News contributed to this report.

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