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Man drowns while carrying child at Spring Meadow Lake State Park

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Spring Meadow

Spring Meadow Lake State Park is seen in this 2014 file photo. Spring Meadow is one of 55 state parks across Montana.

A 29-year-old Helena man who was carrying his child while wading in Spring Meadow Lake State Park drowned Wednesday when he got stuck in mud and went underwater, officials said.

Emergency responders received a call at 2:34 p.m., Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said.

Dutton said the man, who was fully clothed, was wading in a deeper part of the north area of the swimming section in the Helena lake. He was carrying a boy, estimated to be about 3 years old, on his shoulders and apparently walked into some mud and the child began to thrash.

A woman with the child’s mother, who was onshore, jumped into the water and grabbed the child, Dutton said.

The man went underwater. 

The sheriff’s Water Emergency Team, Helena Fire Department, St. Peter’s Health and Lewis and Clark County Search and Rescue responded and were able to find the man.

St. Peter’s Health began rescue efforts and the man was pronounced dead at the hospital. The child and the child's mother were also taken to the hospital for examination.

Dutton said family members were still being contacted and he did not release the man’s name.

“Our condolences go out to the family,” he said.

AccuWeather reporter Bill Wadell reported life-threatening conditions in Punta Gorda, Florida, warning anyone still in the area to hunker down as Hurricane Ian's eyewall hits the coast.

Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.


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Assistant Editor/Reporter

Phil Drake is the assistant editor and reporter at the Independent Record.

Related to this story

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects throughout the United States.

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