NBC10.com - Monique Braxton
The mother of a boy and wife of a man who drowned in Wissahickon Creek on Friday talks about her painful loss. NBC10’s Monique Braxton has the story.
Michelle Luciano is still coping with the painful reality. Her son and husband are gone.
"I couldn't sleep," she said. "Because my baby wasn't there."
Michelle's 13-year-old son Jordan Luciano and her husband Pete Luciano died in the waters known as "Devil's Pool" in Pennsylvania Friday afternoon as three of Pete's other children watched.
Pete Luciano, of Gowen Street in the Cedarbrook section of Philadelphia, was at Wissahickon Creek with his children on Friday around 2:40 p.m. when Jordan Luciano began to have trouble swimming. Luciano jumped in to help his son but both Lucianos didn't resurface.
"Our dad went to get him and he didn't come out," said Jordan's brother, Justin Luciano.
Luciano's other children ran to nearby Valley Green Inn to get help, Philadelphia Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan told NBC10.
The kids ran to the inn, and the inn used its land line to contact dispatchers, since cell service is spotty in the area where the father and son went under.
By the time the police marine unit arrived it was too late. The bodies of the teen and his 41-year-old father were pulled from the creek near Valley Green Road and Forbidden Drive just after 4 p.m.
"Jordan was my baby," Michelle Luciano said. "My sweetheart. He would wake up every morning and say good morning. I will always be indebted to him[[Pete Luciano]]. In life and memory. He risked his life to save our baby."
The Wissahickon Creek runs about 22 miles long from Lansdale in Montgomery County into Philadelphia where it flows into the Schuylkill River. It is illegal to swim in the section of the creek where the man and his child drowned.
NBC10's Daralene Jones searched police records that show 17 people have been rescued from the creek since 2010. Police say warning signs are posted near the area because the waters are shallow and then instantly drop.
Jordan's older brother plans to petition the city to seal dangerous creeks and rivers off in the hopes of preventing another loss of life.
This isn't the only creek that has claimed the lives of local swimmers. This summer, six people have been killed in area creeks, including today's two deaths.
In mid-August, 15-year-old Sebastien Sanon drowned in the Pennypack Creek. Sanon was with three of his friends near the creek when police say Sanon and a friend dipped their feet into the water to cool off when he slipped and was carried away by the current.
In late July, Dan Tadrzynski and Perry Krewson, both 18, were swimming in the Neshaminy Creek when they were swept away in the fast-moving current. Their bodies were found two days later.
11-year-old Brandon Boyle was playing with his brother in the Pennypack Creek in early July, when they were both swept away by fast-moving waters. His younger brother was rescued, but Boyle drowned.