CHAPAIGN – On July 23, 2019, at approximately 2:16 p.m. the Champaign County Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from a female canoer on Mad River, stating that her infant child had just fallen in the water.
According to the caller, she and other members of her party were floating down Mad River when they approached the area of several fallen trees and debris south of State Route 55, when the infant child fell from the mother’s lap and disappeared under the rushing water.
Upon receiving the information, deputies from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and members of the German Township, JSP Fire Department, Enon-Mad River Fire/EMS responded to the scene at Mad River and State Route 55.
Crews from several fire agencies put rescue boats in the water and began to search for the boaters and the missing child. Additionally, law enforcement officers from Clark County and Ohio Department of Natural Resources also responded to assist in searching the river area. The boaters were located in an area of fallen trees and debris approximately ½ mile south of State Route 55.
Sheriff’s Deputies and fire personnel were able to extract the boaters from the river. Rescue Dive teams from German Township, JSP Fire and Enon Mad-River began searching the area of the river where the child was last seen.
At approximately 5:05 p.m. the child was located in the river in a debris area. Law Enforcement Officers immediately removed the child from the water and began CPR. The child was transferred to the river rescue crew, who continued CPR and transported the child to a waiting ambulance. The child was taken to Mercy Hospital in Urbana, where life-saving measures were continued. Unfortunately, all lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced deceased.
This incident is currently under investigation by the Champaign County