A 7-year-old child has died after he slipped into strong currents in the Lehigh River.
The boy was swimming in the river between Weissport and Lehighton with a sibling, two neighbors and his grandmother on Friday when he slipped.
His grandmother tried to save his life but she too drowned.
Investigators say Wanda Wentz, 49, drowned Friday afternoon as she tried to save her 7-year-old Grandson who slipped into the strong current of the Lehigh River on the Lehighton-Weissport line.
"Next thing I know I hear somebody yelling help, help," recalled Lehighton resident Richard Hartranft. He saw the tragedy unfold.
Around 3:30 Friday, Wanda Wentz, her two grandchildren and two neighbors were swimming in the Lehigh near an old railroad trestle.
"They just got taken away by the current," said Trooper Joseph Campbell of the Lehighton Barracks. "The area where they were at there was a bit of a strong current as you get out from the shore line."
Bystanders called 911.
State Police say everyone but Wentz and her 7-year-old grandson were able to get out of the water safely. Wentz and the boy became separated in the strong water.
"She was floating with her head down," said Hartranft.
Rescue crews raced to try to save them.
"Both victims were in the water for between 15 and 20 minutes," explained Campbell. "When they were brought back out of the water they were unresponsive and CPR was performed."
The pair was rushed to the hospital. Wentz was pronounced dead, and her grandson medevaced to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest. He died from drowning complications around 1:00am Saturday. The coroner ruled his death accidental.
Investigators hope this tragedy will serve as a reminder to other's going in the water this summer.
"If you're going to go in the water take some precautions--life vests," urged Campbell. "There were none of these used in this scenario and if they would have been utilized it probably wouldn't be the same resolution in the end."
State Police are calling this an accidental drowning. An autopsy is planned for Wentz in the next few days.