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Man Who Tried to Save Girl in Chicopee River Speaks Out

10 year-old Search

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The 10-year-old girl who was pulled from the Chicopee River by rescue crews Wednesday has been identified.

According to Springfield Police Captain, Cheryl Clapprood, the girl was Kahdro Abdi of Moxon Street in Indian Orchard.

Today, one of the first adults on the scene stopped by the small boat launch near Water and Pinevale Streets where Abdi and several other children entered the water.

“I pulled up and a young girl was screaming, “Mister, mister… can you help me? Can you help me? My sister is drowning. My sister is drowning,” explained Jose Angel Torres. “So I just threw it in park and ran in and just started swimming around trying to find her by that log.”

It was right around 5 o’clock Wednesday. Torres had been out on the water earlier kayaking and knew immediately what was happening.

He’d seen the group of children that day swimming unsupervised.

“I saw her before I left. I was here. I was fishing and my friend was in a kayak… my kayak. And when I came back she came right up to me. I knew it was the younger one cause there were only 2 girls and then 4 other little boys.”

Without thinking twice, Torres jumped in… looking in the area the older girl pointed to – just offshore and near a log.

The conditions were not ideal.

“It’s deep, murky, dark,” said Torres. “You can’t see. A lot of branches hanging off of that. And that log goes out further – it goes out to like there and it’s just branches.”

Just before 6:00 p.m., she was pulled from the river, loaded into an awaiting ambulance, and taken to Baystate Medical Center.

“When they finally located her – they got her out, everybody just lost it basically,” said Torres. “Everything from astonishment from being stuck to like breaking down. The father fainted instantly. The mother lost it. It was a sight. I’ll never forget it, never.”

Capt. Clapprood says that the girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.


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