Woman pulled from river dies in hospital

WINSTON, Ore. -- A Winston woman died Thursday at a Portland hospital, after being pulled from the South Umpqua River Wednesday afternoon.

A California woman says a family barbecue in Riverbend Park quickly turned to panic when the 31-year-old woman was found unconscious in the water.

Virginia Mejia-Montano of San Diego had children playing in the river below the park when she started hearing screams. er below. "More kids came, and we started hearing screaming," she said. "They were having fun, we looked, we saw them playing right there in that area and we said, "Oh, OK, they're playing.""

As the screams grew louder, Virginia decided to go down and see what was going on, only to find a man in the middle of the water holding the woman in his lap.

A man at the scene who asked not to be identified said he tried to save the woman. "I drug her up to the shallowest part of the water and immediately started doing CPR."

Virginia says she went over to help administer CPR until police and medics arrived and took the woman away.

Initial reports from the scene were that the woman, identified as Natasha Brooks, had died. Officials later said that Brooks had not died, and that she was taken to Mercy Medical Center and later flown to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.

Todd Murphy, the OHSU spokesperson, said that Brooks was in critical condition at the hospital until she passed away Thursday afternoon.

Police say that Brooks was not wearing a life jacket when she slipped under the water.