FILE IMAGE: The 9-year-old girl was trying to save her sister when she was washed into deep water and drowned, witnesses said.
Destiny Bahena, 9, of Chicago was playing in the water about 4 p.m. in Lake Michigan at Lakeview Beach with a group of 12 to 15 children when her 6-year-old sister got into trouble after being pushed down by one of the other kids, officials said.
Waves took her out to where she couldn’t stand up, and witnesses told the DNR that Destiny tried to rescue her little sister.
Not seeing any of this, the family located the 6-year-old floating in the water when they hadn’t heard from the girls for 15 minutes. Minutes later Destiny was found also floating in waist-deep water, just as an emergency team arrived at the beach, Beverly Shores Fire Chief Andy Himan said.
CPR was administered to both girls on the beach by family members and Indiana Conservation Officer Bob Cauffman, who was patrolling the beach for illegal campfires. Both girls were transported to St Anthony Hospital in Michigan City.
The girl was not breathing and had no pulse when she left the water and had not regained vital signs before she was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital in Michigan City, Himan said.
Both girls were treated at St Anthony’s and then flown by helicopter to South Bend Memorial, where Destiny was pronounced dead. An autopsy will take place to determine the cause of death. The 6-year-old is in "stable" condition, according to the DNR.
Himan said there was no rip current warning and that waters appeared calm when he arrived. No lifeguards are stationed at the Lakeview Beach. Neither girl knew how to swim, Himan said.
"We wouldn't have expected a call like this today," Himan said.