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Published on May 08, 2024
San Bernardino Community Mourns as 2 Young Siblings Perish in Tragic River Incident Near MentoneSource: Unsplash / Michael Fortsch

In a tragic turn of events in San Bernardino County, two young siblings, a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, were swept away and ultimately perished after being carried downstream by a river. The incident took place around 3 p.m. Tuesday near the Thurman Flats Picnic Area on Highway 38 outside of Mentone. ABC7 reported that the mother was tending to her son when she lost sight of her daughter, and after searching unsuccessfully for her, realized that her son also had disappeared.

The desperate search began as the mother enlisted help from another family at the picnic area but was unable to locate her children in the creek's swift currents. According to authorities, it took nearly an hour for the mother to call 911 due to limited cell service in the region. Crews from an array of county and federal agencies, including Sheriff's Air Rescue and U.S. Forest Service Rescue Crew, launched a concerted effort to find the young children, as detailed by CBS News Los Angeles.

Rescuers first discovered the 4-year-old girl near the river's edge at approximately 4:39 p.m., with the boy being found at 5:04 p.m. Paramedics immediately transported both children to different hospitals; the girl was taken to Redlands Community Hospital, while her brother was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Despite efforts by medical personnel, both siblings were pronounced dead later that evening. NBC Los Angeles shared these details from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department's statement, including that "after extensive life-saving measures, they were pronounced deceased."

The sorrowful instance is an acute reminder of nature's unforeseen perils, particularly in areas where outdoor recreation meets unpredictable waterways. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is continuing its investigation into the harrowing events, and they urge anyone with information to come forward. Individuals wanting to remain anonymous can contact We-Tip at 1(800) 782-7463 or visit their website, as noted by deputies. The community has been left in mourning as they grapple with the unforeseen tragedy that claimed the lives of such young souls.