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As Tropical Storm Harvey travels inland toward Louisiana and continues to flood Texas, the death toll too has continued to rise. According to police in Beaumont, Texas, two hours northeast of Houston, one Texas mother has died after trying to save her infant daughter amid the rushing waters.
The unidentified woman, 41, and her daughter, 3, were driving on a service road when they became stuck in high water. The mother pulled over and left the car with her child when she was swept into the canal and floated half a mile from her vehicle.
The pair were later spotted in a canal, the child wearing a backpack that helped her stay afloat while holding onto her mother. Police and fire rescue drivers in a boat were able to grab them right before they slipped under a trestle—the water had risen up to the structure, and police say they wouldn’t have been able to rescue the daughter had they floated under.
The mother was unresponsive, and the child was suffering from hypothermia. A bystander helped load the mother and daughter into his truck and transported them to a waiting ambulance.
First responders attempted CPR on the woman until they were able to get her and her child to the ambulance, but she later died. The child is in stable condition.
Department spokesperson Officer Carol Riley told People that the woman “absolutely saved the child’s life.”
“They were in the water for quite some time,” Riley says. “When the baby was found the baby was clinging to her. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”
H/T USA Today
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.