Community mourns death of 5-year-old in Vassalboro

William Egold (Martha Collins)

NORTH VASSALBORO (WGME) -- A 5-year-old boy is dead, after he and his mother fell out of a canoe and into the water Monday night in Vassalboro.

The canoes and life jackets are there for anyone to take them out.

That's what a mother and her young son did Monday night.

Witnesses saw them paddling around, but then somehow the canoe went over a waterfall, throwing both mother and child into the water below.

Linda Ellis is heartbroken over the death of William Egold. Game wardens say the 5-year-old boy was with his mother in a canoe on Outlet Stream at 7:30 Monday night, when their canoe got caught in a swift current.

Wardens say after accidentally going over the falls, the little boy then got trapped in debris, pulling him and his life vest underwater.

John Goodrich still can't believe William is gone. He had just bought him a new bicycle.

"I told my wife we're going to buy him a new bike and helmet for him,” Goodrich said. "I told him to enjoy his bike. He looks at me and my wife and says 'You guys enjoy your car, too.'"

Game wardens say William’s mother was able to free him. The current then took the two of them over a second waterfall and around the mill before she could finally get herself and her son out of the water. William Egold was taken to a hospital in Waterville, then life-flited to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he passed away overnight.

"Everybody loved him here,” Ellis said. “Everybody knew him."

Linda Ellis let William ride a horse and planned to give him free riding lessons this summer. She says the last time she saw him, he was showing off a cake he'd gotten his mom for Mother's Day.

"And he brought it down,” Ellis said. “He had it in carriage in the box, and he'd bring it down and show me the cake that he picked out for his mom. It's very sad."

William would have started school this fall.

Investigators say William Egold is the first drowning in the area since 1950.

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