Former Mercer County woman drowns trying to rescue children - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Former Mercer County woman drowns trying to rescue children

Posted: Updated:
SHARON, Pa -

A former Mercer County woman has drowned while attempting to rescue two children along the Lake Erie shore.

Authorities say that 37-year-old Christen Stefan of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania died while vacationing in Chataqua County, New York.

According to a news release, the former Sharpsville woman and her 9-year-old son Tyler were at Shore Haven Beach with another family on Wednesday.

Stefan was on shore when she noticed that Tyler and 8-year-old Benjamin Bignell were drifting out onto Lake Erie on an inner tube.

Stefan swam out to assist the boys, but due to the currents and the wind, the three drifted into a cove along a rocky cliff.

Upon reaching the cliff, the three planned to discard the float, and climb the cliff and get out of the water.

Christen Stefan attempted to help her son Tyler, but vanished under the water.

Tyler continued to drift east and was pushed out approximately 200 yards off shore.

A local resident swam out to Tyler, and brought him back to shore.

Christen Stefan was pronounced deceased at an area hospital. Her son Tyler is being treated for hypothermia.

Benjamin Bignell was not injured.

Funeral arrangements for Christen Stefan are pending at the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home in Sharon.

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