An autopsy has determined that former Gophers football great Billy Bye died as a result of freshwater drowning Saturday on Bay Lake, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department reported Thursday.
The autopsy, conducted by the Ramsey County medical examiner's office, ruled the death an accident, the sheriff's department said.
Bye, 81, Minnetonka, owns a cabin on Bay Lake in eastern Crow Wing County and was boating on a pontoon with his wife and several friends when the boat motor became entangled in a buoy marking a shallow spot, the sheriff's department earlier reported.
Bye jumped into the water to try to untangle the motor but was unsuccessful. When he struggled to get out of the water, others on the boat threw him life jackets in an unsuccessful rescue attempt and Bye went under the water. A woman from another boat jumped in the lake and pulled Bye from the water.
Emergency personnel responded to the lake about 3 p.m. Bye was transported to the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, where he was pronounced dead.
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