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Indiana Man Falls In River, Drowns At Starved Rock

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An Indiana man drowned Sunday afternoon after falling off a rock in Starved Rock State Park and falling into the Illinois River.

Dane Simmons, 25, of Lafayette, Ind., was hiking with two men and had gone into a restricted area and onto some limestone near Eagle Cliff Overlook, when he apparently lost his footing, according to Illinois Conservation Police Sgt. Robert Frazier.

The limestone was likely still wet from Saturday's rainy conditions at the park, Frazier said.

Simmons fell about 35 feet into the river and his companions – his brother and a friend – dove in after him to try to save him, according to Frazier.

A recovery team arrived later and pulled him out of the river, but at that point, Simmons had been in the frigid water for about 50 minutes, Frazier said.

Simmons was taken to Ottawa Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other two men were treated for hypothermia at Illinois Valley Community Hospital, but were released later in the day.

It was not immediately clear if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident. An investigation was underway as of Sunday afternoon.

Frazier said the two men who were with Simmons would be charged with entering a restricted area of the park, despite signs clearly marking the area as restricted.

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