Man drowns carrying child at Spring Meadow Lake State Park

PHIL DRAKE

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

Rescuers 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 northern area of ​​Lake Helena’s swimming section. He was carrying a boy, believed to be about 3 years old, on his shoulders and apparently walked through mud and the child began to struggle.

A woman with the child’s mother, who was down, 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 locate the man.

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

Dutton said family members are still being contacted and he has not released 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 the eyewall from Hurricane Ian hits the coast.



Associate Editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.