Reservoir scuffle ends with two teens drowned, one stabbed

KENO — Two Klamath Falls men drowned and another suffered stab wounds during an altercation at Topsy Reservoir Tuesday evening, the Klamath County Sheriff's Department said.

The Klamath County Major Crime Team is investigating the incident at the reservoir and recreation area about 44 miles east of Ashland.

Brian R. Copeland, 18, and Christopher T. Cudo, 19, both of Klamath Falls, died in the reservoir, officials said.

A third man, Cameron R. West, 18, also of Klamath Falls, was hospitalized in Klamath Falls with stab wounds to his upper torso. Officials said his wounds weren't life threatening.

Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said a group of young people was in the area, and alcohol likely was involved. A cluster of young men got into a fight just after 7 p.m. Tuesday. They were on a ledge about 20 feet above the water. The spot is commonly used for diving into the reservoir. During the scuffle, West was stabbed. Then, Cudo was pushed off the ledge into the water.

Witnesses reported that he called for help and said that he couldn't swim well. His friend Copeland jumped in to help him, but they slipped beneath the water's surface. The two may have gotten tangled in weeds before drowning, Evinger said.

Nearby fishermen in a boat raced to pull Copeland from the water and attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, but he was dead, the sheriff's department said in a news release.

Sheriff's department divers recovered Cudo's body at about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators, who spent Wednesday interviewing witnesses, believe that the two drowning victims were not drinking, but got involved in a fight with at least two other people.

The investigation into the incident is continuing. The sheriff's department reported that at least 20 people who witnessed the events will be interviewed.

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