Woman dies after she and girl, 6, become trapped near Wilmington dam

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A 35-year-old woman died after she fell off a raft into the Kankakee River near the Wilmington Dam.

A 35-year-old woman from Normal, Ill., died Saturday after she fell from an inflatable watercraft into the Kankakee River in southwest suburban Wilmington, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said.

Elizabeth R. Larson and a 6-year-old girl were in the watercraft around 4:30 p.m. when it went over the Wilmington Dam in the 500-block of Barnes Drive, authorities said. They were trapped in the boil of the dam.

The child was rescued and taken to hospital to get checked out. She was later released with no injuries. Larson went underwater and did not resurface.

Larson went underwater and did not resurface. She was later recovered downstream and transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where she was pronounced dead, the Will County Coroner's Office said.

Preliminary autopsy results said Larson drowned. Final cause and manner of death are pending full autopsy and toxicology reports.

IDNR conservation police are investigating.

The Wilmington Dam is the same spot where two Joliet children drowned over Memorial Day weekend last year. Eder Arroyo, 12, was pulled under water and his 13-year-old sister, Abigail Arroyo, drowned when she tried to rescue him.

A 35-year-old woman died after she fell off a raft into the Kankakee River near the Wilmington Dam.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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