Body cam footage shows rescue of five boys swept down into Ohio storm drain

State News

MASSILLON, Ohio (CNN) — Five Ohio teens are lucky to be alive after getting swept away by rushing water and becoming trapped in a sewer tunnel.

The police officer who helped save the teens has never done anything like the rescue before.

The rushing water swept a group of teens down into a storm sewer.

“You can hear them,” said Massillon Police Officer Aaron Franklin. “You can hear them yelling. Sounds like they’re saying, ‘Help.'”

Franklin was the first on the scene. It was his first water rescue, and his body camera was there to record it.

“It’s obviously a treacherous downslope,” Franklin said. “Everything is wet, including the slate rocks that are down there.”

Franklin spotted two of the boys near the mouth of the tunnel.

“Don’t let go until you’re all the way up here,” he said.

With help from the fire department, Franklin manages to get both of the boys out and on their feet.

“You’re the last one, right,” he can be heard asking on the body cam video.

There were three more boys stuck in the tunnel.

“There’s no way of knowing how far down there they are,” Franklin said.

Franklin described the tunnel as being pitch black and he could see water rushing into it.

“I knew that tunnel continued down for approximately a mile and subsequently let out at the Tuscaloosa river,” he said.

With Franklin holding onto him, Massillon’s fire chief heads into the tunnel to search.

“Once he gets down there, he’s out of my sight,” Franklin said.

Soon, rescuers felt the weight of one of the boys on the rescue line.

“Take a deep breath man, take a deep breath,” Franklin said to the boy.

Finally, they felt the weight of another of the boys.

“There’s five, six grown men tugging, pulling as hard as they can,” Franklin said. “Pulling a 120-pound teen and it felt like we were pulling a truck.”

Word eventually makes it back to the rescue party that the fifth boy had made it out.

“I was trying to stand up and fight my way out, and then eventually I realized I couldn’t stand up towards the water and so, I just, l let it take me,” said Trever Gallion, one of the boys rescued from the tunnel.

A second team of rescuers found Gallion clinging to a ladder in the rushing water.

“One of the police officers told me there is a grate at the end of the tunnel and he said if he would have made it down there, you probably wouldn’t have brought your son home,” said Misty Blile, one of the boys’ mothers.

Franklin said he was just in the right place at the right time.

“Anybody that would be put in the situation that’s in this line of work, they have an obligation to do so and we’re gonna do it,” he said.

Gallion said he is grateful rescuers reached him and his friends in time.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on

Today's Central OH Forecast

More Forecast

Don't Miss