JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UPDATE JULY 22 10:52 AM: The City of Jacksonville released the following statement following Saturday's drowning:
The City will review this area and other areas at Hanna Park for potential safety improvements that also preserve the natural beauty of the park.Our hearts are with the family as they mourn the loss of their loved one and recover from this tragic incident.
Family members say the woman who drowned after crashing into a lake at Hanna Park was a mom of two young children.
The family confirmed the driver of the vehicle was 35-year-old Kathy Paredes.
Action News Jax's Brittney Donovan was at the crash site Sunday when the woman’s parents came to the spot where their daughter was killed.
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Her mother said Paredes was a sweet woman and a mother of two.
Police began searching after they got a 911 call from Paredes's husband Saturday just before 7 p.m. He said his wife was in Hanna Park and he believed she might be drowning.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said officers searched the park and launched their helicopter when they were not able to find a car.
#JSO officer was able to use a knife and cut through multiple airbags to locate and rescue a 5-year-old girl who was surviving in a small pocket of air. Unfortunately her mother was not alive when the officer was able to pull her from the submerged vehicle. https://t.co/hU7kA6G7Xc— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) July 21, 2019
JSO said they believe the car had been in the water for up to an hour when they found it submerged next to a dirt road. Paredes and her 5-year-old daughter were inside.
JSO said an officer jumped in the water and rescued the 5-year-old, who had found an air pocket in the car. Her mom did not survive.
Friends and family of Paredes set up a GoFundMe page to help with her funeral costs.
“Tragic event that happened,” parent Travis Goodale said. “You never know when something could happen like that.”
The dirt road where she crashed is near the park’s splash pad. Brown barriers line the water in some areas of the park.
“I was wondering why they didn’t have barriers out here already for you know, kids’ safety, and of course safety of a vehicle being out there,” Goodale said.
The 5-year-old was taken to a hospital as a precaution, according to JSO.
Action News Jax asked city officials if they plan to make changes at the park after the woman’s death. We expect to hear back Monday.
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