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Sheriff: Woman, 18, Drowns After Saving Children From Turbulent Waters Near Dam

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- An 18-year-old woman drowned Monday after reportedly pulling children from turbulent waters near a dam in central Minnesota.

The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office says the drowning happened around 3:45 p.m. in Clearwater Lake. Witnesses reported that a group of children were swimming when they began to struggle in the rough waters near the dam, which had swelled due to recent rains.

The 18-year-old, later identified as Raina Lynn Neeland of rural Bagley, pulled some of the children -- all of whom were her relatives -- from the water before going under herself. One of the children, an 8-year-old girl, was initially unresponsive when first-responders arrived at the scene, but bystanders were able to resuscitate her.

Witnesses said Neeland was submerged for about 10 minutes. A medical helicopter was ready to take her to the hospital, but paramedics were not able to resuscitate her.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Neeland's family with her funeral expenses.

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