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Teenager drowns while saving group of children struggling in river

The tragedy happened near the Clearwater Dam on Monday afternoon.

A 18-year-old woman drowned in Clearwater County Monday as she tried to save a group of children struggling in turbulent water near an overflowing dam.

The tragedy happened around 3:45 p.m. at the Clearwater Dam on Clearwater Lake, with witnesses telling police a group of children had been swimming in the river near the dam "when some of them were caught up in the turbulent water that was coming over the dam and could not free themselves."

Witnesses said the 18-year-old had pulled some of the younger children to safety before she went under the water.

By the time she was pulled from the water, it was estimated she'd been under for around 10 minutes. Lifesaving efforts were carried out, but paramedics from Sanford Life Flight were unable to revive her.

When deputies arrived, an 8-year-old girl was also unresponsive at the scene, but was resuscitated by bystanders who performed lifesaving measures.

The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office says that the water level at the dam was "considerably higher" due to recent heavy rains.

The victim will be identified at a later time, after her family has been notified.

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