Grieving Houston Mom Warns of Danger Lurking in Water

Her son was electrocuted wading through floodwaters to rescue his sister's cat
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2017 10:05 AM CDT
Grieving Houston Mom Warns of Danger Lurking in Water
Sad.   (Getty Images/Karl Spencer)

The family of a former Eagle Scout is mourning his Tuesday death in Houston and warning others of an often-unseen danger in the floodwaters spurred by Harvey. Andrew Pasek, said to be in his mid-20s, was electrocuted in the Bear Creek subdivision after he and a friend braved water-filled streets to check on his sister's home and get to her cat, reports KPRC. His sister, Alyssa, says the two were pushing through knee-deep water when Pasek got too close to an electrical wire "that was still running hot." KTRK reports that wire was from a landscape lighting fixture, and that Pasek gripped the lamppost as he realized what was happening. "He told [his friend], 'I'm dying. Go away. Don't help me,'" Pasek's mother, Jodell, tells KPRC. "He didn't want him to get electrocuted, too."

She notes, per WFAA, that nobody could safely get near her son to try to resuscitate him and that he was left in the water for about an hour, until officials could shut off the electricity to the subdivision. What makes Pasek's death doubly tragic for his family: His older brother died in a 1993 car crash. "I'm pulling my strength from the fact I've been through it once and I can get through it," his mom tells KPRC. She also says she wants to get the word out to others in the area to be extra-careful of the deadly mixture of electricity and water. "He cannot die in vain," she says. A GoFundMe campaign set up to help his family pay for his funeral expenses has raised nearly $40,000 in its first day. (More Hurricane Harvey stories.)

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