Woman drowns trying to rescue grandson 5-year-old in critical condition following Lowell Lake tragedy

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

A Manchester woman drowned in Lowell Lake in Londonderry on Friday afternoon trying to save her 5-year-old grandson who had fallen into the water.

Lowell Lake. Agency of Natural Resources photo

According to a press release from the Vermont State Police, Julie Lawrence, 55, of Manchester Center was attempting to rescue 5-year-old Jackson Lawrence of Shrewsbury after he fell off a flotation device. Jackson’s 9-year-old brother swam for help and, as Julie Lawrence attempted to save her grandson, she began to have trouble in the water.

At 4:54 p.m., the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad service received a call and more than a dozen of its members responded along with Vermont State Police and Fish & Wildlife. According to police, they found Julie Lawrence in the water about 20 to 40 feet from shore and Jackson Lawrence about 10 to 15 feet from shore. Both were unresponsive.

The two were taken out of the water and rescue personnel began resuscitation. Julie Lawrence was pronounced dead at the scene. Jackson was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chester to meet the DHART air ambulance. But because CPR was under way, the helicopter was unable to transport him, so its medical crew rode with the ambulance to Springfield Hospital.

According to Pete Cobb of LVRS, a patient who is undergoing CPR can’t be transported in the helicopter and must be stabilized first. Once the boy was stable, DHART flew him to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where he is listed in critical condition in the Pediatric ICU. Police say that Jackson’s older brother is in safe and in good condition.

Lawrence’s body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for an autopsy to establish the cause and manner of death. Police say that the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Vermont State Police/Troop B BCI 802-722-4600.

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