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Family of Little Dell Reservoir drowning victim remember her adventurous spirit

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 06, 2024

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Susan Partridge says there will be a big void in her family, after her niece drowned during a kayaking incident at Little Dell Reservoir earlier this week.

On Saturday, Partridge reflected on some of the fond memories she had with her 28-year-old niece, Hailey Mason.

"About a month or so ago, she came and helped move her grandma and we spent the whole day together laughing," said Partridge. "She is such a giving person, she would do anything to help others before herself and I always used to call her Hailey Bug, I mean, I adored her."

Partridge told FOX 13 News on Saturday that her niece had an adventurous spirit.

"It was very common for her to go hiking by herself, kayaking, boating, rock climbing, everything, she just loved the outdoors," said Partridge.

Mason was at Little Dell Reservoir on Tuesday kayaking.

Around 2 p.m., the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office says they received a call from witnesses, who said they could hear someone outside of their kayak crying for help.

Officials say witnesses tried to swim out to help, but Mason went under the water and didn't resurface.

"Her mom and stepdad went to the site and waited and it was at 10 o'clock that evening that they were, it was positively confirmed that it was her," said Partridge. "My sister-in-law made the comment that she's never, she didn't think she has ever cried as hard as she has."

Through the devastation of losing her niece, Partridge says there has been an outpouring of love and support from community friends of Mason.

" I'm kind of overwhelmed at how many people have come forward, offering their condolences and, and their support in any way, we had a, a friend of the family that donated her gravesite," said Partridge.

While Mason's life was tragically cut short months before her 29th birthday, Partridge says her niece made an impact and touched many people's lives.

"Hopefully people can take example from Hayley and her adventurous spirit, her smile, her willingness to help so many people that is, that's the legacy that Haley is leaving," said Partridge.

The family has started a GoFundMe, we will have a link to that posted on our website, FOX 13 Now dot com. Overlooking Little Dell Reservoir, Chris Arnold FOX 13 News Utah."

A GoFundMe has been set up for Mason's family, which is slated to go towards funeral expenses which you can visit here.