The Michigan State Police were dispatched to a Sheridan residence a little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday after receiving a call that a 2-and-a-half-year-old toddler was walking alone near the road. When they arrived, they found the parents at home with the child, but they found the toddler’s 1-year-old sibling dead in standing water in the backyard, reports the Sentinel-Standard.
This wasn’t a natural body of water; it was water that had collected due to the heavy rains and the melting of snow. This created a pond-like body of water in the backyard of the home where the toddler siblings lived, reports WZZM 13.
The child was taken to Sheridan Hospital, where she was officially pronounced dead. Her sibling was “safe with family,” reports WZZM 13. An investigation into the child’s death has been launched with the local authorities and Child Protective Services, who are working in tandem on this case. An autopsy will take place today (February 22).
According to reports, it appears the child walked into the flooded backyard and drowned. The name of the child has not been released at this time by authorities.
Weather.com reports the flooding in the area was caused by rain that fell on the region from Winter Storm Oliver. The rain has melted the snow and caused deadly flooding. Three deaths, including the death of the toddler above, have been reported due to the flood waters.
The other two deaths occurred in cars when their drivers went through flood waters. Victor French, 53, was swept off the road by the moving water and died when he attempted to cross a bridge. This incident happened in Sidewell, Oklahoma, on Wednesday.
Illinois State Police report the death of a 52-year-old woman when her vehicle became submerged in water after it rolled over into a flooded ditch. This accident happened along Route 45 near the town of Peotone in a flooded intersection.
Police had recovered several vehicles from that intersection, but the car the woman was in was not discovered until after the other cars were removed. It was 5 a.m. in the morning and dark, said the local fire chief, so they did not see the car until “hours later.” Peotone is located about 45 miles south of Chicago.
In Pinnacle Park, Michigan, four families were rescued from their homes after the flooding was caused by an ice jam on the Rifle River, which caused the waterway to overflow, according to Weather.com.