Mesick Woman Dies Saving 3 Children From Drowning in River

A Mesick woman died saving three children from drowning.

Her loved ones are calling her a hero.

It happened Wednesday in the Big Manistee River near the Hodenpyl Dam.

“It sounds like there were a couple of kids that went too far out in the river, got caught in the current, looked like they were struggling. One of the parents went into the river to help the children, and it sounds like she helped those children get back into calmer water,” said Manistee County Undersheriff Ken Falk.

Lee Dawn Mann saved the children, one of them was her own daughter. 

After she pushed the kids to shore, Mann was found lying face down in the river.

Bystanders started giving her CPR.

“It appears to be a drowning at this time, but we’re in the middle of investigating. We have the medical examiner going to do an autopsy to try to figure out what the exact cause of death was. We won’t know that for another couple weeks,” explained Undersheriff Falk.

A longtime neighbor and coworker describes Mann as a hero.

“It makes me sad, you know? It’s going to leave a big hole in a lot of lives. But saving those children is what she would have wanted to do, and she did. And that’s the only good part of all this, the children survived,” said Mallery Nyman, a friend of Lee Dawn.

Nyman describes Lee Dawn as a friendly face around the community and a devoted mother.

“Oh, her girls were her life. She was always involved with whatever they were doing in school, sports. She was always there, always right behind them. She was a feisty little redhead,” explained Yman.

Undersheriff Falk said, “It’s tragic, I mean the family is here to have fun, go out swimming with friends and something tragic like this happens. It’s sad.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Lee Dawn’s family.