14-year-old boy drowns while in vacation in Massachussetts
WORCESTER, Ma. - A teenager and a police officer who tried to save him died after going into the water Friday in Worcester, Massachusetts, authorities confirmed.
Police and fire crews responded to the pond at Green Hill Park, where several people were in the water and one was struggling. Five officers went into the pond.
One officer, identified by police as 38-year-old Manny Familia, was pulled from the water. He died at the hospital after crews tried to save him.
Divers also pulled a 14-year-old male, identified by family members as Troy Love from the water. He was rushed to a hospital, but pronounced dead.
“I didn’t know how deep that lake was,” said Love’s brother, 21-year-old Joseph Guy. “He was trying to swim across it.”
Love, who knew how to swim, got into trouble as he tried to make his way across the water.
“He was OK until he got to the middle, and he was just yelling, ‘Help, help, help,’ like over and over,” said his sister, Arieanna Potter.
Guy, along with Love’s girlfriend, Kristen Breeden, tried to make the rescue.
“Me and Kristen jumped in the water to try and help him, but his body went under,” said Guy. “We couldn’t find him.”
A teenager died, as did an officer who tried to save him, at a pond in Worcester Friday, police said.
Familia, a five-year veteran of the Worcester Police Department, leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter.
“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, friend, and a partner. The city of Worcester has lost a hero,” Chief Steven Sargent said. “We will remember and honor his selfless devotion to Worcester, and his ultimate sacrifice to save someone he didn’t know.”
“That lake, it felt like in the middle, it was something that dragged you down,” said Guy. “Like a swirl hole or something in the middle of it, it just dragged you down, we were not expecting it.”
Love’s family had just arrived in Worcester earlier the week, on vacation from Virginia.
“He was really respectful, he did everything he could as a brother,” said Guy. “I loved him to death.”
Love’s siblings are devastated by their loss and are also grieving for the officer and his family.
“To the officer’s family that died, thank you all,” Guy said. “I know we spoke at the hospital, my prayers will be with him.”
“I just want to say thank you, especially to his family, and I’m sorry that he died saving my brother, but he died a hero,” Potter added.
“Officer Familia died tragically in the line of duty doing what he was trained to do — to serve and protect the residents of our city,” Mayor Joseph Petty said. “Officer Familia, without regard for his own safety, attempted to rescue a young drowning victim at Worcester’s Green Hill Park. This is the type of person that Manny was: Someone who’d lay down his life for someone else’s child.”
Love’s family created a GoFundMe to help with memorial service costs.
Donations are now being accepted for the Familia Family through Worcester Police Department Credit Union. Checks can be mailed to: The Familia Family Memorial Fund, c/o Worcester Police Federal Credit Union, 805 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA 01606.
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