The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 10, 2014

Pennsylvania woman drowns while trying to save son in Lake Erie

WESTFIELD, N.Y. — Authorities say a Pennsylvania woman has drowned in Lake Erie while attempting to save her 9-year-old son and his friend after high winds blew the boys’ inner tube into deep waters.

Police and fire officials say 37-year-old Christen Stefan of Bethel Park was vacationing in the Chautauqua County town of Westfield, 55 miles southwest of Buffalo.

They say her son and an 8-year-old friend were on an inflated inner tube around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when high winds and strong waves drew them away from shore. Stefan swam out to help them, but the current caused all three to drift into a cove with cliffs.

The younger boy climbed out, but Stefan disappeared under the water while trying to help her son. A bystander eventually rescued her son.

Stefan was pronounced dead at a hospital.


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