Teen Dies After Jumping in River to Cool off: Police

The two were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition, and the second teen, identified as 13-year-old Erickson Villa of the Bronx, later died, police said

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014  |  Updated 6:57 AM EDT
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Police say two teenage cousins who jumped into the Bronx River Friday afternoon to cool off quickly went under water, and one of them later died in the hospital after being pulled from the river by rescuers. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

Police say two teenage cousins who jumped into the Bronx River Friday afternoon to cool off quickly went under water, and one of them later died in the hospital after being pulled from the river by rescuers. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

Two teenage cousins who jumped into the Bronx River Friday afternoon to cool off quickly went under water, and one of them later died in the hospital after being pulled from the river by rescuers, police say.

One teen was pulled from the water near E. 172nd Street after 3 p.m. and another was pulled from the water after 4 p.m. The two were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition, and the second teen, identified as 13-year-old Erickson Villa of the Bronx, later died, police said. 

The other teen remained in critical condition Saturday morning, according to a representative at Montefiore Hospital, where he is now receiving care. He and Villa were cousins, according to a relative, Kennedy Pacheco. 

Witnesses said the teens were part of a larger group of children at Starlight Park who decided to go into the water. The two struggled to stay afloat, and their friends took to safety and rushed to call 911. 

Richard Ferrano said he was playing baseball nearby when the victims' friends ran to him.

"They were saying their friends jumped in the water, two kids, and they were drowning," he said. "So we came over here -- at first there was nothing -- and they called NYPD, and everyone started jumping in the water to look for the kids." 

Fire officials said rescuers were able to pinpoint the area where the teens went under and quickly recovered the first victim. It took rescuers an hour and a half to find Villa because of poor visibility in the water. 

-- Jonathan Vigliotti contributed to this report. 

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