Mother of baby swept away by Hurricane Florence floodwaters: 'I did everything I could'


The mother of a child who died after he was swept away by Hurricane Florence's raging floodwaters in North Carolina says she did everything she could to hold on to her baby boy.

"I was holding his hand, trying to hold him, trying to pull him up and it got to a point I couldn't hold on anymore and he let go," Dazia Lee, mother of 14-month-old Kaiden Lee-Welch, told a reporter.

Lee told officials that she encountered police barricades while driving to visit the child's great-grandmother on Sunday night, but said they were pushed slightly to the side of the road, leading her to believe it was safe to drive past them.

The mother continued traveling east until she encountered rushing floodwaters, which swept her vehicle off the road and pinned it against a row of trees. Although she was able to free Kaiden from his car seat and escape the flooded vehicle, the powerful waters pulled the baby from Lee's grasp and swept him away.

Kaiden's body was recovered on Monday morning after a desperate search and rescue effort led by the Union County Sheriff's Office.

"I did everything I could from the moment I was pregnant to the moment I lost him," the bereaved mother said. "I did everything I could as a parent to save him and protect him."

The Union County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating and will determine if any criminal charges will be filed over the child's death, according to WCNC.