On July 1, 2020

Police report drowning of 7-year-old

Staff report

STOCKBRIDGE—The Vermont State Police are investigating the drowning of a child in the White River Wednesday evening, June 24, near the Gaysville post office in the town of Stockbridge. The victim was Gabriel McEachern, 7, of Stockbridge.

Investigators learned that Gabriel was with his parents, Kenneth and Danielle McEachern; his two siblings; and another large family. The children were playing and wading in shallow water near the shore. Shortly before 9 p.m., Gabriel’s father found him submerged in the water. Gabriel was pulled to shore, and lifesaving efforts including CPR were initiated while a nearby resident called 911.

First Responders including Valley Rescue, the Stockbridge Volunteer Fire Dept. and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advance Response Team (DHART) helicopter responded to the scene. Gabriel was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he was pronounced deceased.

The death appears to be an accidental drowning, according to the police report and subsequent report by state investigators after an autopsy was conducted Thursday in New Hampshire to confirm cause and manner of death.

No additional details about the case have been made available.

Janet Whitaker organized a GoFundMe campaign “for the family of Gabriel McEachern who was a month away from turning 8,” she stated on the GoFundMe page. “He loved the outdoors, games and being a good friend to everyone.”

As of Monday, June 29, $9,195 had been raised.

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