Critical reminders for Salt River visitors after 2 men drown over weekend

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MESA - Large crowds on the Salt River forced authorities to temporarily close roads leading to recreation areas on Sunday and expect to see similar numbers at the river on Monday. The area opened at 8 a.m. for visitors on Monday.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brian Lee said authorities blocked roads to the river at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday
due to overcrowding. He says the roads were reopened about an hour later. The river or actual recreation were never shut down.

Lee says authorities often close off the area to car traffic on big holiday weekends as a method of crowd control. More temporary closures are likely on Monday.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was out at Salt River on Sunday cautioning people after two men died in separate incidents Saturday on the Salt River located east of Mesa.

The first man, Pete Contreras Jr., 27, was recovered from the Mud Cliffs area from MCSO and pronounced dead Saturday afternoon.

The second man was 26, from India and his body recovered near the Salt River Blue Point early Saturday evening.

Both deaths looked to be caused by drowning, which should be a caution to those enjoying the river on Memorial Day.