12-Year-Old Dead After 'Unwitnessed Fall' into River: ‘Our Lives Will Never Be the Same,' Mom Says

Finnley Udall was at Bridal Veil Falls near Orem, Utah on June 8 when the accident occurred

<p>Lyndsay Udall/Facebook</p> Finnley Udall

Lyndsay Udall/Facebook

Finnley Udall

An Arizona mom is calling on authorities to install safety rails after her 12-year-old son fell into a “raging” Utah river and died while on a family hike.

Finnley Udall was visiting Bridal Veil Falls with his family on Saturday, June 8, when the tragedy occurred, his mother, Lyndsay Udall, wrote in a Facebook post.

“Within a few minutes of arriving, my sweet little 12-year-old son had an unwitnessed fall into the raging river,” Lyndsay Udall wrote. “Once I heard someone say that a child was in the water, I immediately knew it was him. I started running and yelling that my baby had fallen into the river in an attempt to get help.”

After bystanders called 911, multiple agencies responded and attempted to rescue the boy from the swift-moving Provo River, according to the Daily Herald.

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“When you have a body in the water like that, with the water running as high as it is, you go through some areas that are a little bit more shallow, so you can see him,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon told the outlet.

“Or just sometimes the turbulence and the turmoil in the water will cause their body to come up towards the surface," Cannon added. "But then it might be like little eddies that kind of stir it back down, so they may go a fair distance where you can’t see the body and that’s kind of what happened.”

Finnley was eventually pulled from the river four miles downstream, after about 30 minutes, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reported.

The boy was transported to a local hospital where he died, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said in a post on social media. Authorities believe he may have died from hypothermia due to the temperature of the water.

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In the days since her son’s death, mom Lyndsay started a petition to install safety rails and signage along the river.

“This tragic event could have been prevented with proper safety measures in place,” Lyndsay wrote.

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In the meantime, the Udall family is mourning their loss, and remembering the “tenacious” and “caring” boy.

“Finnley took up a lot of space wherever he went, and now that empty space will never be filled,” Lyndsay wrote in her Facebook post. “But he was the most loved boy that has ever walked on this earth, and our lives will never be the same. He died how he lived — just skating on the edge of danger and loving every minute of it.”

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