Two Toddlers Drown in Less Than a Week

WYOMING COUNTY — Wyoming County is mourning the death of two little boys.

In less than a week, 2-year-old Bryan Torres and 17-month-old Gage Wells were found unconscious in swimming pools.

The Wyoming County Coroner ruled both deaths accidental drownings.

“Devastating and so scary,” said Sabrina Johnson from Tunkhannock.

Last week, Torres was found dead in a pool in Tunkhannock Township, just yards away from Tyler Memorial Hospital.

Then on Monday, a family member found Wells in a pool near Laceyville. He was taken to the hospital, but did not survive.

The Chief Deputy Coroner in Wyoming County, Eric Kukuchka, said it’s been a rough week for first responders. “You have to give your heart out to the 911 call takers and dispatchers and what they’re going through putting that call out. “

Kukuchka said these tragedies take an emotional toll on the 911 dispatchers, police, fire, ambulance, and hospital employees.

“That’s what going through your head when you’re helping somebody else’s child, is your children. It’s not that easy to get over once the incident is over, as people do think it is,” said Kukuchka.

In Wyoming County you’re never really far away from a body of water, whether it be a lake, pond, or the Susquehanna River. That’s why first responders say it’s so important for kids to know about water safety and for parents to take that extra step for precaution.

“Watch your children. Make them have a life jacket on, floaties, or some type of flotation device,” said Kukuchka.

The Wyoming County Chief Deputy Coroner also suggested a pool alarm for parents with younger children.

Those types of alarms will sound if a child over 18 pounds enters the pool without supervision and the devices are available at most hardware stores.

19 comments

  • Wanderdust

    They need to quit outlawing lifeguard approved lifejackets in lakes and swimming pools. how many toddlers drown with them on? zero. how many drown without them? every one. Even with a lifeguard and close parental eye (on ALL of the mother’s children! within in hand’s reach on littles under five– but kids STILL drown right next to mommy) also being needful, lifejackets SAVE LIVES. Let kids wear lifejackets!

  • Angelica

    So sorry for your loss and I apologize for.all the stupid people who have forgotten how easy it is for a child to slip away so easily even from watchful eyes. God bless and strengthen you during this horrible time.

  • Belle

    Well said, Notamonster. I too feel sorry for the parents’ tragedies. Yes, children are quick and in just a blink of an eye they can get lost or placed in harm’s way. I had five children of my own, at one point ranging from age eight to a newborn…I am no parenting expert. That being said, there is no substitute for constant supervision of a child. Also, not sure if the Commonwealth has a statewide law on fencing pools but rather it may vary by borough or municipality. Where I live fences are required around our pools and locked ladders and gates for any pool access. But I’ve seen pools in my area without rails or fences, probably not required due to old laws. Locking pools is an inconvenience but necessary for safety. But…parents must teach their children water safety and rules, too. Granted, toddlers would not understand rules or remember them to follow I’m sure, but it is the job of every parent to teach their child about known dangers. The parent has to remember that tragedy can strike in a heartbeat so walking away from a child or turning your back for even one second can have devastating consequences…especially around water where a creek may run through a yard, or a pool is present, or even suing a child’s bathtime. Nothing a parent does in a split second that takes their child out of their line of vision is all that important. If you have to turn your attention, remove your child from the tub, a pool, and certainly don’t allow them to stay outside for even just one second.

  • suebee

    I’m Bryan grandmother and stop with the negative comments ! It sad that people can be cruel maybe someday something like. This can happen to anyone. And. All of the negative towards the parents you should be ashamed of your self! This parent’s love this children very much!! And if I can trade Place with them so they can have their Son back I would ! Well God take the Good one first so the people with negative comment would live long because they are cold hearted! I love you Bryan! See you so my little angel! Gramma loves you and I hope you are having fun in heaven with Gage !

  • Deb

    My heart goes out to both of the families that lost their loved ones. I know that one family and I just can’t imagine what they are going thru! So sad! Rip Gage!

  • ugh..

    All you people bashing should be ashamed of yourselves! Accidents happen especially when its a younger child. Edwin I’m so sorry for your and your family’s loss I could not imagine the pain you’re all going thru. Dont listen to these people being so negative its probably all they know. My heart goes out to everyone involved .

    • K

      Say what you will, and I am sorry for the families this happened to, however, aren’t toddlers supposed to be watched all the time?!? It takes a bit of doing for them to end up in a pool no?

  • Edwin

    I’m Bryan’s father he was supervised all the time accidents happen I hope you never have to experience what we feel and have to read the comments we read

    • CA

      I know for a fact this child was not properly supervised by either parent aand just pray that Bryan’s baby sister will be kept safe. These parents need to be less into themselves and more worried about their children. The proof is in the pudding, seen with my own eyes at the opoor baby’s funeral service.

      • CA

        I also know that when you show up to your childs service an hour late, wasted and with a Superman cape on there definitley is an issue within the immediate family unit. Were are Child Services?????

  • Christine

    This is so very very sad. I read this and sit here and cry for those poor babies and their parents. I pray God will help comfort them.

  • NotAMonster

    This is very tragic, but where were the parents/babysitters/caregivers? Why on earth were these children not supervised? Before you all dog pile on me, I know children that age are quick, I have a child myself who is 10 now; they can disappear in the blink of an eye. My heart goes out to the families on the loss of their children. Watch your kids, please.

    • Wanderdust

      Having one child is far different than having two or more children under the age of seven. A mother has only one set of arms. People used to be allowed to put floaties or lifejackets (which working much better than floaties; kids still drown with floaties on, but not with lifejackets) on their children, but the liberal lawmakers seem to want kids to drown so they say ‘no lifejackets’. it’s fine if you only have one child, but some people have more than one. Lifejackets make SENSE.

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