City High staffer dies while saving drowning child near River Junction


A City High employee has lost his life saving a child from drowning in the Iowa River near Lone Tree.

According to a news release from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a possible drowning at the River Junction Access on River Junction Rd SE just after 6pm Friday. Arriving officers learned an eight-year-old child had been rescued from the river. Bystanders performed CPR, and the child was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Witnesses reported that the child entered the river and began struggling. An adult male went into the river and tried to save the boy. A kayaker was able to assist the child from the water; however, the male victim submerged beneath the surface. The kayaker and another individual made repeated attempts to locate the male, but they were unsuccessful.

A recovery operation ensued, and the body of 42-year-old Wegayewu Faris of Coralville was located at approximately 7:10 p.m.

The incident is under investigation by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

City High principal John Bacon took to Twitter Saturday night to praise Faris, who was an evening custodian at the school, as “a kind, amazing person” and “a true hero” who committed a “selfless act of bravery.”