Valley City woman drowns trying to save her dogValley City, ND (WDAY TV) - It’s a heartbreaking story coming out of Valley City. A woman drowned in the Sheyenne River while trying to save her dog.
By: Todd Kurtz, WDAY
It’s a heartbreaking story coming out of Valley City. A woman drowned in the Sheyenne River while trying to save her dog. Officials thought they had the dog safe, but it too ended up drowning. Police are withholding the woman's name until tomorrow, but say she's 38 years old and a longtime resident of Valley City.
This is where everything happened. Locals call it the Little Dam. Police say the woman called around 8:15 this morning, in a panic she told dispatchers she was jumping in to save her dog.
Mark McDonald – Interim Police Chief, Valley City: "She was advised by dispatch that police and rescue were in route and was told not to go into the river."
Police say her body was pulled from the river within 30 minutes of that call. It's unclear if she entered above or below the dam, but her body was found in the lower level.
Mark McDonald: "To me a river is so deceptive whether it's deep there's still a lot of current involved or if it's a shallow river the speed of the water is very deceptive."
Police say her family says she's a strong swimmer, but having the dam right there can cause even more havoc. The current is faster and more unpredictable, notice how the small spillway pushes this debris away and then sucks it back in.
Mark McDonald: “It's a sad story. I mean, what else can you say? It's a sad story with a tragic ending."
As police were searching for a body the dog did make it out of the water, but when the victim was pulled from the river something made the dog jump back in and it too end up drowning.