Police: Accidental drowning ruled cause in deaths of Pittsfield native, grandson in Manchester, Vt.
LONDONDERRY — Medical examiners in Vermont and New Hampshire have ruled that the deaths of a Manchester grandmother and her grandson in July at Lowell Lake State Park were accidental and caused by drowning.
Julie Lawrence, 55, of Manchester, died on July 20, and her grandson, Jaxon Lawrence, 5, of Shrewsbury, died a day later. The boy had fallen off a flotation device in the lake and his grandmother, a U.S. Army veteran and registered nurse, had jumped into the water to save him.
Efforts to resuscitate both victims began as soon as first responders arrived, police said. Julie Lawrence was declared dead at the scene by rescue personnel, while Jaxon Lawrence was transported by ambulance from the scene to an air ambulance and flown to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
As the boy died in New Hampshire, his autopsy was conducted by the New Hampshire medical examiner in Concord; Julie Lawrence's autopsy was handled by the Vermont medical examiner's office in Burlington.
A native of Pittsfield, Mass., Lawrence attended Boston College, where she went through the Army ROTC program to help pay for her education. After graduating she enlisted in the Army, serving in Japan and in Germany, and earned an honorable discharge in 1990. After working at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, she moved to Manchester to work at Rutland Regional Medical Center, where she was a nurse in the emergency room, in diagnostic imaging, and in the intensive care unit.
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