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Child drowns south of Applegate Lake

A seven-year-old child died Friday night in a reported drowning in the vicinity of Applegate River in Northern California, according to information from the Siskiyou and Jackson County Sheriff’s offices.

Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies and Applegate Fire District personnel responded initially to the call at 8:45 p.m. May 24, said Sgt. Julie Denney with the sheriff’s office.

The family had been staying in a remote location south of the Oregon-California border that did not have cell service, Denney said, and had to travel up Upper Applegate Road toward Ruch before getting enough reception to make the emergency call.

Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies intercepted them on the road and assumed life-saving measures until fire personnel arrived, she said.

Despite a “heroic effort” to revive the victim, the child was later pronounced dead at a Medford hospital, a Sunday news release from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said.

The medical facility was not specified in the release. Denney could also not confirm the location.

“We were called because the best access to that area is through Oregon, even though it happened in California,” she said. “We helped with resuscitating efforts, but it was really just about trying to help the family get to the hospital.”

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s deputies responded a few hours later, at 9:40 p.m., according to the release. The release said the call came on Saturday night, however the office and Denney with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed later that information was incorrect.

The sheriff’s offices did not release any identifying information for the family, but Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey expressed “condolences, prayers, and thoughts to the victim, family members, and friends of the decedent,” in the release. Community members reacting on the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Facebook page shared similar condolences to the family.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office urges members of the public to exercise increased caution around smaller waterways in particular, where water safety deputies may have a harder time responding to emergencies.

Recent rain and snow in higher elevations have raised water levels in many local rivers, streams and lakes, the sheriff’s office said. This can make water flows faster, more unpredictable and possibly more hazardous.

Both sheriff’s offices are conducting a joint investigation into the incident Saturday. Anyone with information is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 541-774-6800 or the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office at 530-841-2900.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497.

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