Canadian Football League

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Family Wants Answers In Drowing Death Of Ex Canadian Football League Player

LAKE ELSINORE ---- The family of a Carson man who drowned last Saturday in Lake Elsinore has been hearing different versions of the events that led to the former professional football player's death.According to witnesses who spoke with Riverside County sheriff's deputies late Saturday night, Dwaine Wilson, 47, was hanging out on the lake with friends from Canyon Lake when he jumped into the lake to "cool off."Wilson couldn't swim, according to the witnesses, and he drowned.The friends, according to the police report, called the police at 6:48 p.m. to report that a member of their party was missing.Wilson was found by a member of the lake's search-and-rescue team about an hour and a half later in 11 feet of water near the lake's "little cove," located in the southeastern corner of the lake.Tim Wilson, Dwaine Wilson's older brother, said this week that his brother could swim."All of us can swim," Wilson said. "He was in shape. He could swim. He was an athlete. We're all athletes."Wilson said his brother was the Canadian Football League's Most Outstanding Rookie in 1984 and was a star running back at Carson High School, Cal Poly Pomona and Idaho State University.Tim Wilson said he was told by a common friend who drove to Lake Elsinore with his brother for a day of boating that his brother was trying to jump back into his friend's boat from another boat when he slipped and fell into the water. He was returning to his friend's boat, which didn't have a bathroom, after using the bathroom on the other boat.The people who saw him fall into the water waited for him to come back up but he never did, Tim Wilson said.Riverside County coroner's officials have not released details of Wilson's autopsy, including what they believe caused his death.Last Saturday was opening day at Lake Elsinore and the city offered free day-use passes to boaters who carried all of the required safety equipment, including throwable flotation devices.As for the story that he jumped in to "cool off," Wilson said, "Then why was he still wearing his tennis shoes?"Wilson said the family wants to find out more about what happened and they want to talk to the people on the other boat, including a woman who was photographed with Wilson shortly before he died.Tim Wilson said he has been told that his brother and his friends were heading back to shore after a good day on the lake. No one was arguing or fighting and everyone was having a "wonderful time."During the ride in, Wilson said, his brother was talking to a young man, telling him about his faith.That would be one of his final acts.Wilson said hearing that his brother tried to minister to someone before his death helped him cope with the tragic news."That's what made it OK, knowing that," Wilson said.Dwaine Wilson played two years for the CFL's Montreal franchise, called the Concordes at the time.In June of 1986, Wilson was cut by the team, which had changed its name to the Alouettes.According to a June 23, 1986, article published in the Montreal Gazette: "As a rookie in 1984, Wilson rushed for 1,083 yards and captured the Schenley Award as the CFL's outstanding freshman. But he failed to reach those lofty heights last year. Used less frequently, he was held to 432 yards and was benched late in the year."I wouldn't say I was misused," Wilson told the Gazette. "They did what they had to. The Alouettes are a good organization. I have no hard feelings."During his time in Montreal, Wilson was an area celebrity, co-headlining a charity event with former Montreal Expos baseball player Andre Dawson and hockey great Guy Lafleur, according to another Gazette article.After retiring, he moved back to Southern California, settling in the Carson area, where he owned his own business. He left behind two children, a son and a daughter, and a grandchild, Tim Wilson said."He was a loving, good family man. He was very loved, loved dearly by everybody," Wilson said.


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