Teen drowns saving sister

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BUFFALO, New York (WGRZ) – A 17-year-old boy pulled out of the Niagara River by rescue teams off of Squaw Island Monday afternoon has died.

The teenager was trying to save his little sister who fell in first. In all, three children ended up in the water.

A man at the park ended up coming to the rescue of the siblings.

Monday afternoon, Leonard Stevens just happened to be in the right place at the right time- Squaw Island around three o’clock- to become a life saver.

“I was here and happened to see the little girl go in the water. And, she slipped in. Slipped in off of the slippery rocks. And, the older brother, which right now, they’re taking to the hospital, jumped in after her,” said Stevens.

Stevens says he saw the seven-year-old’s brother struggling to rescue her.

“He got her up and the current started taking them out. So then, a second sister jumped in after the brother. I’m running down to assist them. The current took both of them out,” he recalls.

Stevens made the decision to risk his own safety to try to save the lives of the three children who were at this point all trying desperately to get out of the water.

“I jumped in, went underneath the sister, grabbed the sister. Started bringing her in,” he says.

Then, Stevens saved the second sister, and he tried to reach their brother.

“And the boy just, he floated away. I couldn’t grab the young man,” he says.

But, Stevens, who was just on Squaw Island fishing, managed to save the lives of the two sisters.

The Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team pulled their brother out of the water, and an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. He later died at ECMC.

Buffalo Police have not released the names of the children or where they are from. But, police did tell us that the girl who fell in first is going to be okay.

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