3-year-old drowns at Morris County park
PEQUANNOCK — A 3-year-old girl drowned while swimming in the lake at Pequannock Valley Park on Monday.
Pequannock Police said lifeguards cleared the water of Woodland Lake after the girl's mother reported she could not find her daughter just before 4 p.m. The girl, a resident of Pompton Plains, was found a short time later and lifeguards began administering CPR as police and EMT units from Chilton Medical Center responded, police said.
The girl died at the hospital after continued resuscitation efforts failed, according to police. Pequannock Police Capt. Chris DePuyt told NJ Advance Media "this is a parent who momentarily lost track of the whereabouts of her daughter and did everything she could and did it instantly." He told the news site the beach was well staffed with lifeguards who are well prepared for rescues.
The Pequannock Township School District on its website sent thoughts and prayers to affected family and friends. Counselors will be available on Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hillview Elementary School for students, staff and community members.
The Our Pequannock Facebook page was also filled with condolences and well wishes for the family, whose name was not disclosed by police.
"So, so sad. My heart is broken for this family. Prayers for the family and everyone involved in this terrible tragedy," posted Kristen Koblick-Ortega.
"Sending prayers to this heartbroken family and their angel. Also, I'm proud to be part of a community that's as supportive as Pequannock is at such a tragic time. There is such an outpouring of compassion and respect ... the way it should always be during a time like this," wrote Christine Morse Erhardt.
A memorial service is scheduled for the high school at 8:30 p.m. A Boy Scout troop will supply candles for the event.
Police said the Pequannock Valley Park, which is run by the Pequannock Parks and Recreation Department, will remain closed for the investigation and a review of procedure.