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Autistic man drowns in Lake Temescal

An autistic man drowned in Oakland’s Lake Temescal Thursday evening, an East Bay Regional Park District police spokeswoman said.

Felipe Medina, 19, of Concord, died when he slipped into the lake between 6:30 and 7 p.m., according to police and the Alameda County coroner’s bureau.

Neither his sister, who was walking along the lake with him, nor a bystander was able to save him, spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said:

“It’s just a tragic accident.”

The two were walking along a trail on the west side of the lake when Medina lost his footing and slipped a couple of feet off the edge of the trail, she said. His sister was the first to jump in to save him and then a bystander jumped in to save them both, she added.

Neither the sister, who is in her 20s, nor Medina could swim, but the bystander was able to save the sister, Jones said.

The bystander called 911, Jones said.

Oakland police and Oakland firefighters pulled the man from the lake and performed CPR, but he died at Highland Hospital, she said.

Lake Temescal was closed because of a toxic algae bloom in the lake, but algae had nothing to do with the man’s death because it was in another area of the lake, she said.

The park was open at the time of the incident, Jones said.

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