The toddler's mother had been out for a stroll Monday along a bike path that follows a creek near downtown. It had been a sunny morning, and the thunderstorm developed quickly. In less than an hour, it dumped more than an inch 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain, flooding streets and sending a torrent of water down the tiny creek.
"Once you enter (the bike path), you're in a chute," Denver Fire Department spokesman Phil Champagne said. "She knew she was in trouble and was trying to get out. She was on the phone with her grandfather, trying to figure out a way out.
"The water knocked her down, she was dragged for a little bit and was unable to hold onto the stroller," Champagne said. "What a tragic event. That poor mother to see her child swept away like that."
Firefighters struggled against the current to rescue the woman, but the baby and stroller were swept downstream. The stroller was later found empty more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) away in the South Platte River, Champagne said.
In south Denver, a police officer and firefighters were able to save one teenager from a swollen creek in a park, but another teen who apparently was trying to help was swept away and remained missing, Champagne said.