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Mother drowns trying to save 10-year-old son who fell into river on family hike

The child "slipped into the river," said police.
Pemigevasset River
The Pemigewasset River flows through New Hampshire. A mom drowned trying to rescue her son after he slipped into the water at Franconia Falls, a popular hiking destination off a branch of the Pemigewasset.Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

A Massachusetts mother died while trying to save her 10-year-old child after he fell into a river during a family hike in New Hampshire.

According to a Facebook post from the Everett Police Department in Massachusetts, Melissa Bagley, 44, "(drowned) while trying to aid one of her children who slipped into the river."

A child slipped and fell into a pool and could not escape the fast, circulating current, Sgt. Heidi Murphy of the state Fish and Game Department said in a news release, according to The Associated Press. Bagley “jumped into the river to help her child and began to immediately have trouble,” she said.

The family, who lives in Lynn, Massachusetts, had been visiting the popular Franconia Falls, which flow into the Pemigewasset River in the White Mountain National Forest, according to a New Hampshire State Police press release.

According to state police, the family of five and a friend from Salem, Massachusetts walked to Franconia Falls, where Melissa's 10-year-old son fell into the river, prompting family members to jump in after him.

"The family was able to rescue the 10-year-old, but two other family members became trapped in the rocks and current," said police. According to a report by NBC Boston, Melissa's husband Sean Bagley, a police lieutenant in Everett, Massachusetts, pulled his son out of the water.

The press release stated that one of the people helping — an 18-year-old man — was rescued from the water by his family, and subsequently transported to Littleton Hospital.

"The mother of the family, a 44-year-old female, was located in the water below the falls and despite resuscitation efforts by family members was pronounced deceased," the press release says. "An autopsy is scheduled."

NBC Boston reports that Bagley performed CPR on his wife.

The police said in their press release that drugs and alcohol did not contribute to the tragedy and asked that anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the department.

"As a parent, I know that there is nothing that any parent wouldn’t do for their child," Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria wrote in a Facebook post. "Melissa did everything she could to protect her children and her family."

DeMaria added, "This tragic event is an important reminder to us all to never miss an opportunity to tell those you love how much they mean to you."