WILMINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) – Two Amish families in Lawrence County are grieving after the drowning deaths of two teenage boys in the Little Neshannock Creek in Wilmington Township.
Emergency crews were called just before 4 p.m. Sunday to an area behind a farmhouse near Ferris and Means roads.
John A. Mast, 15, of Mercer and Seth C. Byler, 16, of New Wilmington, were reported missing after they were wading in the water with two other siblings and stepped into an 8 to 10 foot “sinkhole,” according to a police report.
Attempts were made by the siblings to save the teens but were unsuccessful.
Dive teams recovered the bodies about an hour later. They were located together about 15 feet from the shore of the Little Neshannock Creek.
“It’s just a sad situation all the way around,” said Rebecca Rosengarth, Wilmington Township firefighter. “They went swimming and a friend that was with them said they did not come up.”
Crews searched the creek where the depths ranged from six inches to areas where the divers were up to their necks.
“With all the rain we’ve had, it just pitted it,” Rosengarth said.
Divers eventually found the bodies underwater.
“They stretched a rope across the walkthrough first. Then they called in the divers and divers had cameras. The underwater camera is how they found them,” Rosengarth said.
WKBN First News reached out to family and friends of the victims, but they didn’t want to talk on camera.
A forensic examination is scheduled for Monday at the Heritage Valley Medical Center in Beaver, Pa.
Foul play is not suspected.