The mother of a 4-year-old girl and a good Samaritan died after saving the child, after she fell of a rock in a cold, raging river in Utah, officials said on Tuesday.
Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said London DeDios had played with her mother on Memorial Day in the near Bridal Veil Falls when they fell. Her mother, Brenda DeDios, and six other people jumped in the Provo River to try to save her.
“So many tragedies here,” Cannon said. “Tragically a child was tragic and two men went in to save that child, now deceased. Yes, it is to prevent it.”
The body of the 4-year-old was on Tuesday found in the vicinity of the Nunn’s Park in Provo, about a mile from where they fell in the river. Officials told FOX 13 Salt Lake City, they found the girl’s body below the water level, stuck under logs. Search and rescue teams were helped by the officials lowered the level of the water in the river earlier in the day.
The mother of the girl and the bystander, Sean Thayne, were pulled unconscious from the river three miles downstream, according to FOX 13. They were both rushed to the hospital, where she later died.
Cannon said the Provo River, the temperature was 45 degrees at the time of the tragedy, and it was moving about 4 to 7 km / h.
“There were at least six people who are valiant in their attempt to save the city,” he said. “The sad reality is that those feats would not have been necessary, there was a schedule to keep, this young girl out of the water.”
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The deaths during the holiday weekend came amid warnings from officials around the state urging people to be careful near the rivers that are high, fast and icy as warm spring temperatures melt the heavy snow that fell in the mountains of Utah.
Family members told FOX 13, “Brenda was kind and caring for everyone and would do anything for her children. Her family will miss her greatly.”
Two GoFundMe pages have been set up for London and Brenda DeDios, in addition to Sean Thayne.
Thayne’s family told Fox 13 in a statement, “We would like to send our sad condolences to the other drowning victims, as only we can understand their grief at this tragic loss.”
Drownings are the third most unintentional injury death in Utah for people 17 and under, according to the Utah Department of Health.
A total of 42 children drowned in the state from 2011 to 2015, and over half were 4 or younger. The most common location for drownings are in rivers, streams, and lakes. while swimming pools account for three in 10 drownings.
Many occur at family gatherings where no one is designated as the “water watcher” to prevent children from wandering off, the health ministry said.
Read more from FOX 13 Salt Lake City.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.