By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Calls for change one day after a teen drowns while swimming in a creek in Juniata Park (See Previous Story).
The victim’s family told Eyewitness News reporter Todd Quinones that more needs to be done to avoid another tragedy.
Fifteen-year-old Ruben Polanco’s drowning was absolutely preventable.
Through an interpreter, his father told CBS 3 his son should be the last to die like this.
“’What are we waiting for to control that problem? For more kids to die?” Vincente Polanco said through an interpreter, Clara Santana, the victim’s cousin.
Polanco’s family wants more fencing and more strongly worded signs at the spot where he drowned.
The 15-year-old was swimming with friends Monday evening in a dangerous spot along the Tacony Creek on Fisher’s Lane off Ramona Avenue in Juanita Park.
He went underwater and might have gotten trapped by debris or the current.
He never resurfaced alive.
At least three other teens have drowned here over the past 12 years.
“Let Ruben be the last one to die in there,” Polanco’s cousin Clara Santana said.
His family believes if there were more clearly visible, strongly worded signs Ruben, who did know how to swim, might have thought twice about going so deep into the creek.
CBS 3 only found one sign telling people not to swim. That one sign is located some 20 feet up a tree. It’s largely obstructed by tree branches and leaves and it doesn’t tell people about the dangers of swimming here.
Now Ruben’s grief-stricken mother and father plan on pursuing city officials, advocating new signage and some additional fencing.
“So all the parents don’t pass through the pain that I’m going through,” Polanco said through an interpreter.
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