FRESNO (CBS13) – Heartbreak in the San Joaquin River after a family found out their teen son won’t live to graduate high school.

Neng Thao was an honor student, set to be valedictorian.

But he was swept away on Saturday by fast moving water as family members looked on. His body was found in 18-feet of water near Fresno.

People nearby tried to save him.

“The current was taking us fast, we got up and turned around,” said Kendall Parsio, one of the people who tried to rescue Thao. “By the time we came on the other side of the embankment, nobody was there.”

Authorities say San Joaquin River is at the highest level it has been in years this spring due to the record amount of rain the region saw the past season. This means that rivers are running fast and cold – a serious danger for anyone near waterways.

Thao was the youngest of ten kids.


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