GREAT FALLS — Dustin Quintanilla of Great Falls drowned in Belt Creek in the Sluice Boxes area southeast of Great Falls on Wednesday.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help Dustin's family with final expenses; it reads, in part: "Dustin Quintanilla was an incredible son to Timmy and Chris Quintanilla, a great brother to Ryan Quintanilla and good friend to all. Dustin was a one of a kind person you’d meet for countless reasons and for that, he will always be remembered and loved by so many. Any donations toward the services/family for Dustin is deeply appreciated, Thank you."
If you would like to help, click here to visit the GoFundMe page.
Cascade County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched on Wednesday evening to mile marker 2 of Evans-Riceville Road, the upper parking lot of the Sluice Boxes State Park, for a report of a deceased person.
Quintanilla, 20 years old, and some friends were in Belt Creek when they decided to swim across the river to cliff jump. While trying to cross the river, Dustin was swept away from them and went underwater, according to Sheriff Jesse Slaughter.
Dustin was found by his friends about 200 to 300 hundred yards downstream from where he was last seen, on the shoreline. CPR was started by his friends on scene. A short time later Sheriff's deputies, Belt EMS, and MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks arrived and continued life-saving measures, but he could not be revived. Next of kin has been notified.
Based on the investigation, the cause of death was drowning, and the manner was accidental.
Responding agencies also included BRVFD, Belt Ambulance, Cascade County Sheriff/Coroner's Office,Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 4 and Benefis Mercy Flight.
Sheriff Slaughter cautions everyone to please be careful in and around water. This year has been very warm, but the water is still very cold and moving at a high rate of speed. Please use extreme caution when recreating near the water. The CCSO and FWP will be out patrolling popular water ways this summer as well.