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Boy Rescued From Current in Pacoima Wash

January 30, 1995|JOCELYN Y. STEWART | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PACOIMA — A 9-year-old boy fell into the Pacoima Wash Sunday and was swept more than a mile downstream before he was rescued, authorities said.

"Although it's been many days since the rains stopped, flood control channels can remain particularly treacherous for days or even weeks," said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

The incident occurred shortly after 10 a.m. in the 500 block of Glenoaks Boulevard near Jessie Street, Humphrey said. "The 9-year-old had been playing near the river when he was swept away by the current," Humphrey said. Nine fire companies and a helicopter responded.

The child, whose name was not released, managed to make his way to a small dirt island and was leaning against an 18-foot wall when firefighters spotted him near the Golden State Freeway at Paxton Street, Humphrey said.

"The firefighters lowered a 24-foot ladder down into the wash," Humphrey said. "A firefighter then descended and offered comfort and reassurance to the youth prior to assisting him in climbing to the top of the channel."

The boy was "cold, wet and emotionally shaken," but uninjured, Humphrey said. After paramedics examined the boy, police drove him home. "With waters that can travel up to 35 m.p.h. or more, a flood control channel is one of the worst places for a person to play in or near," Humphrey said. The water has subsided in recent days, but channels are still "deceptively dangerous," he said.

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