Hero drowns attempting to save mother & child

(KSL) – As a frantic search and recovery effort along Utah’s Provo River came to an end Tuesday, the mourning for the two adults and the 4-year-old girl who lost their lives in the raging river began.

The body of young London DeDios was found about 11 a.m. Tuesday trapped in logs and debris about a mile from where she fell in Monday afternoon. Crews had stopped the flow into the Provo River, reducing the water level. The Utah County Sheriff’s Office said it was because of the reduced water level that they found the young girl’s body along the bank near Nunns Park.

Her recovery marked the end of an exhaustive search effort. Both the girl’s mother and a good Samaritan who jumped into the river after the girl also died while trying to rescue London.

Brenda Nalleli DeDios, 34, of West Jordan, had been sitting with her two daughters on the rocks at the end of a footbridge along the bank of the Provo River near Bridal Veil Falls about 3:40 p.m. Monday. London either slipped or stumbled into the river while on the rocks, said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

The mother immediately jumped in after her daughter. Five bystanders, all males who saw what had happened, also jumped into the river, including Sean Zacharey Thayne, 30, of Sandy.

London was last seen about 150 yards downriver from where she fell in, Cannon said. Four of the adults got out of the water at that same point. Neither Thayne nor DeDios were able to find the girl or get out safely on their own. They were pulled out by police about 3 miles downriver near the Murdock Diversion Dam. Both were unconscious or not breathing at that point, Cannon said. They were transported to a local hospital in extremely critical conditions and pronounced dead a short time later.

Thayne didn’t know London or her mother, his brother-in-law James Gentry said at a news conference Tuesday, but rushed to save them because he was a good swimmer with a big heart who loved kids. He was showing his in-laws the falls Monday afternoon when the tragedy unfolded.

“Sean was a loving, brave and selfless man. At 6 feet 3 inches, he looked over and looked out for all of us,” Gentry said in a prepared statement on behalf of Thayne’s family. Gentry spoke to reporters at Sunset Pond in Draper, saying it was one of Thayne’s favorite spots.

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