Children drown in locked car that drove into creek

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LELAND, Miss. (KETK) – Two toddlers died in Leland, Texas on Saturday night, after being locked in a car that drove into a creek. 

Leland Police say the mother, 25-year-old Jenea Monique Payne, tells them she left her three small children inside her car, as she briefly went into a Stop-n-Go. 

Payne says when she returned, the vehicle was gone. 

Police responded to the scene at the 100 block of N. Main Street, around 5:45 p.m., when they found the white Nissan Pathfinder floating nearby in Deer Creek, with three little children trapped inside. 

Inside the submerged vehicle was her son, 4-year-old Steve Smith, her daughter, 2-year-old Raelynn Johnson and son 1-year-old Rasheed Johnson Jr.

Leland Fire Chief Bobby Johnson, along with first responders Sarah Hester, Jacob Humphrey, C J Hollins, Seth Humphrey and Austin Macklemore jumped into the creek and attempted to burst the windows out of the vehicle, according to police.

β€œAs the vehicle floated down the creek, these individuals ended up only being able to rescue one of the three kids before having to swim to safety,” a press release says, from Leland Police.

Only little Raelynn was taken out of the vehicle, safely.

β€œThe vehicle then drifted further down and into the creek,” the press release added. 

β€œLeland Volunteer Firefighters probed the creek attempting to find the vehicle when a rescue dive team arrived and entered the water.” 

The Pathfinder was finally again located in the creek around 8 p.m.

Authorities say it was pulled from the water by Venutti Towing, with the two little boys, Steve and Rasheed still inside. 

Payne’s 4 and 1-year-old sons were pronounced dead at the scene, at 8:37 p.m., by Washington County Coroner Melton Johnson.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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