Girl, 4, and Brother, 2, Swept to Their Deaths by Rapid River at California Picnic Area

Two children have died after being swept away by a river in California

Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 15:31:13 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 15:31:13

Two children have died after being swept away by a river in California.

The 4-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother died afterfalling into rapid waters while playing by a river during a picnic outing at Thurman Flats Picnic Area in Mentone, California, on Monday, May 6, the Yucaipa Police Department said in a news release.

The tragic incident occurred at approximately 3:00 p.m. local time when the girl “was taken downstream” as her mother tended to her younger brother, according to the release. 

“The mother searched for her but could not locate her,” police said. “When she returned, her son was missing and assumed to be down river as well. After frantically searching, she hiked up to the picnic area and contacted another family to help search for the children but were unsuccessful in locating them.”

A subsequent search for the two missing children was carried out shortly after 4:00 p.m. by Yucaipa Police, along with Sheriff’s Air Rescue, Mentone Station County Fire personnel, U.S. Forest Service Rescue Crew and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Search.

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The woman's daughter was discovered at approximately 4:39 p.m. and son half an hour later “both near the river’s edge,” police confirmed, per the release. 

The children were taken to local hospitals where they were later pronounced dead.

According to NBC News, the children's bodies were located 1.5 miles from the picnic area, near a tributary of the Santa Ana River.

The mother was heard prior to the incident warning her children — who are yet to identified—not to go near the river, according to a witness, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Speaking about the dangers of rapid waters in the area, San Bernardino County Fire public information officer, Eric Sherwin, told NBC News, “We’re starting to enter into our warmer days, which attracts people out to our creeks, rivers and waterfalls. But this also coincides with the Spring melt when our water flow is typically at one of the higher rates that we see.”

According to the outlet, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is seeking information from the public about the incident at

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