11-year-old dies after trying to save younger sister from drowning, police say

FILE - A swimming pool. (Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Friends and family gathered in front of an Ohio elementary school on Monday to remember an 11-year-old girl who died over the weekend after trying to save her younger sister from drowning.

The vigil for Mackenzie Cornell was held at the Bloom-Vernon Elementary school in South Webster, Ohio, where she was a student, according to a report from WSAZ. 

"Her little sister went into the deep end of the pool and couldn’t swim very well. Big sister went to save her, and she ultimately died. There’s no greater love than giving yourself for your sister," Helen Cornell, Mackenzie’s aunt, told WSAZ. 

Mackenzie and her 9-year-old sister were at the Quality Inn hotel in Wheelersburg, Ohio, attending a pool party on June 2 when the tragedy occurred, according to the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office. 

Her younger sister had fallen into the pool and Mackenzie attempted to pull her out of the water, but was not successful. 

Both girls were removed from the water and CPR was administered before emergency personnel arrived at the scene. 

The 9-year-old was resuscitated, but Mackenzie later died at the hospital, according to People. 

The investigation into the drowning is still ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Tackett-Dye at 740-351-1099.

Mackenzie’s school shared on its Facebook account that it would be offering counseling services this week from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Bloom-Vernon Elementary and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the community church on Thursday. 

A GoFundMe has also been launched to help the family pay for funeral expenses. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.