Teen Swept Down Storm Sewer

News
Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 1:43pm

13-year-old recounts terrifying ordeal.

A Parma, Ohio teen is out of the hospital and after getting swept into a storm drain.

Jeffrey LaPorta, 13, was riding his bike with a friend through large puddles when he fell into drain Tuesday.

"It was scary. I didn't know what to do," said LaPorta, "This hole is covered. I couldn't even see, and it was moving so fast."

He was carried 1,500 feet away from the entrance of the pipe.

"I started praying to Jesus to help me and good-bye to mom and dad because I thought I was going to die," he added.

As emergency crews got to the scene they started taking off sewer lids, yelling into the sewers, waiting for a sign of Jeffrey.

"I didn't want to die, I didn't want to give up," says LaPorta.

After at least half an hour trapped in the sewer, rescue workers pulled him above ground.

LaPorta was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center where he was treated for six stitches and some scrapes and bruises.

"It was scary. I didn't know what to do," said LaPorta. "I didn't want to panic because if I panicked I would have probably died. I am very lucky to be alive."

The city of Parma is looking into the incident and may make changes to the drains to improve safety.

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