You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

Deputies find body of 21-year-old man who drowned after jumping into Huron River

By Kyle Feldscher

The body of 21-year-old drowning victim Donovan Gerard Hyter was found downstream from the railroad trestle where he jumped into the Huron River with five friends early Sunday morning.


Deputies found Donovan Hyter's body Monday, a day after he drowned in the Huron River.

Melanie Maxwell |

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said Hyter’s body was found about 5:15 p.m. Monday. Hyter and his friends jumped into the Huron River from the railroad trestle east of Superior Road about 4:52 a.m. Sunday.

Investigation into the incident, including interviews with the friends who jumped into the river with Hyter, will continue now that his body has been found.

“We were really just focused on finding the body first,” Jackson said.

Jackson said a group of six people left the Riverrain Apartments along the railroad tracks and walked toward the trestle. Five of the six members jumped into the river together Sunday morning and discovered Hyter was missing when the other four exited. One of the men in the group is a former lifeguard and attempted to assist Hyter but was unable to locate him.

“It’s really dark and the water’s moving pretty fast and they were unable to locate him,” Jackson said.

The group called 911 and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office dive team began a search-and-rescue operation about 20 minutes after the group jumped into the water.

The water in the area is only between six and eight feet deep, Jackson said. However, the recent rainfall increased the river’s current, increasing the danger, Jackson said.

Heavy summer rains often swell the river and makes it more dangerous for people who are regular users.

“Every year when we get these heavy rains, we get near drownings, or people on kayaks get turned over and get trapped or we have actual drownings,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the man’s body was located in the vicinity of the trestle, a little bit downstream from the jumping point.

Hyter’s family has been notified that his body has been found.

It’s not clear if alcohol or other intoxicants played a role in the incident. Jackson said those questions would be asked during the course of the investigation.

Hyter was a Pittsfield Township resident and a graduate of Huron High School, where he was a semifinalist in the 2010 National Achievement Scholarship Competition, according to the school’s website.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Karen H

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

Condolences to the entire family, sending prayers your way from one of Danah's 1975 class mates

John of Saline

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

Something similar happened at Walnut Lake in Oakland County a week or two ago. Think twice and stay safe around water.

Ingrid Racine

Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Truly broke my heart to hear this news yesterday. Donovan was a kind, genuine and talented young person who was loved by all. A class-act friend, devoted brother and son and an immensely talented emcee, B Boy, and percussionist who could also yo-yo like you've never seen before (yes, yo-yo). He will be sorely missed by the extended Neutral Zone family and the A2 hip hop community. Rest in Peace D-SQUEEZE, and love and prayers for the Hyter family.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

What a bummer.He was younger than my son.Don't know what I would do if I lost him.That river is dangerous, bad under tow.I can't count how may people have died there.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 3:43 a.m.

Definitely sending Prayers out to Donovan H's family and Friends...We weren't close or anything, but we knew of each other! Regardless to the situation we were apart of the same Huron High School Student Body....So Sad to Hear, Seriously Breaks My Heart, R.I.P!!!!


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

He went to Western Michigan? So sad to hear about the loss of a fellow Bronco.

Resident A2

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Oh my God, Donovan was one of my students at Huron and he was absolutely the most wonderful young man. He was one of those students that everyone loved. He loved his mother so much and I pray that she might recover from this horrendous loss. May God help his family in their time of sorrow.


Tue, Jul 2, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

Couldn't have said it better. Tragic.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.



Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

this is so sad im so sorry for your loss.

Ann English

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

I was hoping to hear that Donovan had somehow been carried by the current to a riverbank, and found alive.

Linda Peck

Mon, Jul 1, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

I am sending out prayers and blessings for Donovan Hyter and his family.