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Breaking: Child drowns in river accident
Meal train, Go-Fund-Me set up for victim’s family
Fatality SirenBKG

WOODFORD — A 7-year-old girl is dead after a drowning in the Pecatonica River Saturday, June 26.

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communication Center received a 911 call at 8:46 p.m. Saturday and was notified that a young female child had gone missing near the bridge on County Road M at the crossing the Pecatonica River, just west of the Village of Woodford, in the Town of Wiota. 

The victim, Leah Foster, was with two other young children, all from the Woodford area. Lafayette County Sheriff Reg Gill said that the victim entered the Pecatonica River on public land near the boat landing north of the bridge on County M.

The child was then swept under the water by the current and the two others were unable to reach her as she slipped under water.

“The problem with moving water, if you’re not a strong swimmer, that can be dangerous,” Gill said. “The current can vary so much. If you don’t know the water and how it works, you need to be careful.”

Gill said that multiple first responder agencies from the surrounding area responded to assist, as well as many private citizens.

“The outpouring of help and resources that came to locate this little girl is incredible,” Gill said.

At approximately 2 a.m. June 27, members of the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Technical Rescue Team located and recovered the body of the 7-year-old approximately 25 yards from the point of entry. The body was submerged.

“It’s heartbreaking for everyone who wanted a better outcome,” Gill said.

Emergency response agencies that assisted at the scene were the Argyle Police Department, Woodford Fire and First Response, Argyle Fire and EMS, Darlington Fire, Gratiot Fire, Blanchardville Police Department, Green County Sheriff’s Office, South Wayne Fire, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Southwest Wisconsin Regional Technical Rescue Team, Lafayette County Coroner’s Office and the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office. 

This incident remains under investigation by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office.