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4-year-old drowns in Raquette River

TUPPER LAKE — A Tupper Lake family lost a 4-year-old son in an accidental drowning in the Raquette River in Coreys Friday, and a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the grieving family with funeral expenses.

State police and the Tupper Lake rescue squad responded Friday evening to a call upstream from Axton Landing, where Ryder White had died in an accidental drowning. It was his mother’s birthday, and the family was celebrating.

“We were camping, at Corey’s campsite #1,” Ryder’s mother, Allison White, wrote in a message sent through family friend Kaylin Reyell over Facebook. “After dinner the kids wanted to play by the water. I told them to go ahead, but stay out of the water.”

When she went to check on the fire, her daughter ran over, saying Ryder was in the water and drowning.

“I ran right out of my shoes and right into the water to search,” Allison wrote.

Allison wrote a message on a GoFundMe page Reyell set up for the family.

“I want to thank everyone who has messaged me, [text] and came over to visit. And another huge thank you to each and everyone who has donated to our son’s funeral. You all have no idea how much this means to us. He was always so full of energy and love. He will be dearly missed. He loved everyone, and every new person he met was his ‘best friend’ or his new girlfriend. I’ve cried so much today, it hurts so bad. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. But yet there are still more tears to come. It will be quite some time before we get back to ‘normal.’ Railyn [Allison’s 6-year-old daughter] is being strong. … Only time will tell how we will heal and move on as a family. He will always be with us, no matter what. Thank you all so much.”

Reyell said money sent to the campaign will go toward holding a funeral for Ryder.

“Due to his age no funeral expenses were even thought about and the cost for the services will be a huge financial burden to the family along with the extremely emotional and mental burdens that will follow,” Reyell wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Any help to them towards being able to give their little boy, who was always so full of life, a proper burial, would be greatly appreciated.”

The GoFundMe page, titled “Funeral Costs for the White family,” can be found at www.gofundme.com/funeral-costs-for-the-white-family.

The page was established Saturday, and by 6:30 p.m. Sunday, more than $16,000 of the $20,000 goal had been raised.

No official information on the drowning was available. State police were the lead agency in the incident, and troopers referred all questions to Troop B spokeswoman Jennifer Fleishman, who did not return messages left Friday through Sunday.

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