12-year-old girl saves cousin, then drowns in lake

WEST POINT LAKE, Ga. -- A 12-year-old Georgia girl saved her cousin's life before she and another cousin drowned in a lake.

A'Jada McGuire drowned during a family reunion at West Point Lake. She and her 12-year-old cousin Carlton Woodall both drowned at the Troup County lake Sunday afternoon.

"She was my angel," Tara Thomas, A'Jada's mother, told WSB. "I just want her to know that we love her and she gonna live on forever in our hearts."

Her family says she noticed her cousin and his twin brother struggling in the water so she jumped in before any of the adults.

Her parents were at work and they say relatives told them about A'Jada's heroic last act before the current swept her and Carlton away.

"She was trying to push them both up and above on the safer side, the shallow side, and she was only able to save one," Thomas said.

Troup County dive teams and first responders found both bodies by around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

A'Jada had just become a cheerleader and looked forward to taking college prep courses.

"Perfect child, never had a complaint, anything you asked her to do, she'd do it," said Isiah Thomas, A'Jada's father.

Trips to the lake will never be the same again for the two grieving parents and A'Jada's younger siblings she leaves behind.

"They don't want to go to an ocean or a lake or anything like that because they witnessed it firsthand," her mother said.