The bodies of a 43-year-old woman and two of her young children have been recovered by police divers after a vehicle the woman was driving rolled into the Tweed River, in Tumbulgum, northern NSW, on Monday.
The area has been hit with heavy flooding in recent days in the wake of tropical cyclone Debbie, which hit Queensland last week.
A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed earlier reports that the mother appeared to be holding her child when she was found in the submerged vehicle.
“I can tell you the mother was trying to get one of her children out of the car when she passed away… she was with the child, holding the child,” said superintendent Wayne Starling from Tweed Byron LAC.
An eight-year-old girl was also in the car but managed to escape and alert a passerby. Starling said the girl escaped with the help of her mother, who died trying to save her other two children.
"She would be alive today if she wasn't trying to save her children," Supt Starling said in a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
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