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Brother of Sunapee drowning victim, 3: ‘There one second, gone the next’

Union Leader Correspondent

July 15. 2013 9:18PM

SUNAPEE — The family of 3-year-old Sidney Joy Allen was at their Hubbardston, Mass., church Monday, mourning their little girl, who drowned Sunday.

“She was Sidney Joy to everyone; she brought a smile to everyone’s face,” Ben Allen said of his sister, the day after she was found unconscious near the Perkins Pond shore.

Police said they arrived at 58 Mary’s Road about noon Sunday after a 911 call about a possible drowning. They found Brian Allen holding his daughter in his arms and performing CPR on her, Police Chief David Cahill said.

Rescue crews continued resuscitation efforts, but the girl was pronounced dead at New London Hospital a short time later.

Ben Allen said his mother and father always rented the Mary’s Road cottage at this time of year; he and his five sisters always had fun in the cottage’s yard and shoreline, he said.

The family had just arrived for their vacation Sunday. Ben Allen said the four older girls and his parents were setting up the front yard chairs for water views. Sidney was with them, they thought.

The family “had just got there, you know, setting up for the week,” he said.

Ben Allen said his parents had been watching the children, but somehow, Sidney wandered off.

“He noticed she was gone, and he started calling for her,” Allen said of his father. “It all happened fast; she was there one second and she was gone the next.”

The cottage has a dock extending into the lake. Ben Allen said his father found Sidney in shallow water alongside the dock.

Police weren’t sure how deep the water was where she was found.

“He tried to save her,” Ben Allen said.

Sunapee police and the state Medical Examiner’s Office described the death as accidental.

The family was in Massachusetts Monday, making funeral arrangements.

“We’re trying to deal with it; it’s very hard to understand. It’s really hard to believe she’s gone,” Ben Allen said.

“She was the most happy, wonderful girl in the world. Her middle name was Joy, and that’s what she was to us, Joy.”

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