CLEARWATER COUNTY, Minn. — An 18-year-old female drowned in Clearwater Lake Monday, Aug. 17, and, according to witnesses on the scene, she died saving the lives of younger children in the water.
Officers identified the victim as Raina Lynn Neeland, 18, of rural Bagley, Minn.
The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office received the call around 3:45 p.m. about a group of children that had been swimming in the river near the Clearwater Dam when some of them were caught up in the turbulent water that was coming over the dam. The water level at the dam was considerably higher due to the large amount of rain received recently.
Officers say when the first deputies arrived at the scene, an 8-year-old girl had been pulled from the water and was initially unresponsive, but bystanders at the scene had performed life-saving measures and were able to resuscitate her.
According to the sheriff's office, other bystanders were reportedly performing CPR on Neeland, but she remained unresponsive. Witnesses estimated she had been in the water for approximately 10 minutes.
Sanford Life Flight was called to the scene, landing a short distance away, and while the sheriff's office says all life-saving measures were performed, medics were not able to resuscitate Neeland.
Witnesses say she had pulled some of the younger children to safety before she went underwater.
A GoFundMe has been set up by the family. To donate to the fund, click here.