The mother immediately jumped into the lake to save her son, according to news reports. They were pulled from the water by authorities around 2 p.m. Both were later rushed to the hospital, where the boy was pronounced dead hours later.
“His family are being supported by specially trained officers and his mother has been discharged from hospital,” Thames Valley Police West Berkshire tweeted Sunday. “The death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”
The “freak accident” shocked friends and family.
A family friend, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “He was just feeding the ducks with his mother and he just fell in. She went in to try and save him. We feel devastated for the mother, just before Mother’s Day. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s just a freak accident.”
Mother’s Day is celebrated Sunday in England.
He added: “With my whole heart I feel sorry for them, I do not know how they are going to get past it, it’s very upsetting, it brings it home.”
Locals visited the canal on Sunday to give tribute.
Gina Scandrett, who is a mother of three, walked over with her 11-year-old daughter and her toddler, who placed a small panda teddy at the canal.
“I have a little daughter almost aged 3 years who has chosen one of her teddies and brought it down here today,” the 31-year-old mother said. “We come here a lot, it’s so difficult because I don’t see it as being dangerous but now I am extra vigilant.”