Public Memorial for Drowned Centralia Teen Will Be April 24


A celebration of life for Zach Hines-Rager, a Centralia teen who drowned in the Chehalis River last month, has been scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, at Alexander Park, located off of Interstate 5 at Exit 77.

The memorial is open to the public.

Efforts to locate and recover Hines-Rager’s body have so far been unsuccessful.

A swift water team is expected to begin searching the river again next week, and the Thurston County Dive Team will return the following week, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office office stated Monday.

Hines-Rager graduated from Centralia High School in 2020. He was on the school’s wrestling team and the club wrestling team his junior and senior years, and he played on the football team his senior year.

He and three friends were reportedly on the Willapa Hills Trail crossing the Chehalis River on March 24 when they went onto a nearby railroad trestle bridge and Hines-Rager reportedly jumped in.

He is believed to have drowned after experiencing cold water shock.

Those wishing to attend the memorial at Alexander Park can RSVP online at 

A petition started after Hines-Rager’s death to invest in signage and education at cold-water recreation sites in Washington that informs people of the dangers of cold water shock had 3,337 signatures as of press time. It is accessible online at