Mother, Son Drown in Creek near Jersey Shore

CUMMINGS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A family vacation turned tragic after a mother and son drowned in a creek in Lycoming County Tuesday.

Emergency responders tell us the mother went into the creek to try to save her son and that's when she also went under.

The initial call for the drowning came in after someone spotted a hat floating in the water.

"There was five or six state troopers as well as all kinds of ambulances at the scene. At the time, I didn't see anyone in the water," Tom McCormick said.

A water rescue team searched Pine Creek near Jersey Shore Tuesday for 7-year-old Adam Reiff.

State police tell Newswatch 16 the boy from Lebanon County was with his family in the water when he went under.

Emergency responders believe Reiff was caught by the current, couldn't touch the bottom, and started to panic. That's when family members jumped in to try and find the boy in the water.

According to state police, when the boy's mother went into the water to try to save him, she also started to drown.

Family members tell police they attempted CPR after pulling 35-year-old Ada Reiff from the water. She later died.

Her son who was found by water rescue crews also passed away.

The drowning hits close to home for Tom McCormick. He lives up the road and tells us his grandsons were in the water nearby when the drowning happened.

"We're always telling our grandsons, 'Be careful, be careful!' Grandsons will be grandsons, you know. They will do what they want to do, but I think it kind of hit them when they heard about it. They thought, 'Oh, things can happen,' " McCormick said.

Emergency responders want to warn people while creeks and streams may seem calm from the bank, strong undercurrents can be dangerous, and in some cases like this one, lead to drowning.

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