6-month-old drowns after vehicle rolls into pond

ST. HELENA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A 6-month-old child died today after a tragic accident in St. Helena Parish.

"After 30 years of service, when you have a call that involves an infant, it's something hard to deal with," Sheriff Nat Williams said. "It's a real tragedy."

The incident happened shortly after noon on Thursday, March 27. We're told the child was in the care of the grandparents.

"The grandmother was tying some ribbons around some plants and the infant was strapped into the car seat in the vehicle," Sheriff Williams explained. "The vehicle was running and it started to roll down the hill."

The woman and her husband ran after the vehicle, attempting to stop it from continuing forward.

"The vehicle went over a cliff and dropped 20 feet into the pond," Sheriff Williams said. "When one of my deputies got there, he went into the water to try and save the baby, but it was difficult to see and the water was too cold for him to stay in."

Dive teams from Livingston and St. Helena were called to the scene. They located the vehicle and removed the infant, who was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.

"The child was in the water too long," Sheriff Williams said in a somber tone. "There's nothing else I can say. I believe God needed an angel."

Although the incident remains under investigation, Sheriff Williams said that no charges are expected to be filed.

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