PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Rescue crews have pulled a body from a pond at Veterans Memorial Park off State Road in Parma. Witnesses say around 11:10 a.m., they saw a teenager go under the water and not come up.
His friends tried to go in after him, but could not find the boy, so they called for help.
"He is 16 years old. I don't think he could swim," said Nick Pivovarnik.
Pivovarnik rushed to the park when a friend tweeted him that his brother was missing in the pond.
"I jumped in my car and I just flew here. I didn't care if I was gonna get pulled over," he said.
Witnesses say some of the Parma High School football players came to the park to cool off after practice in the morning. They ended up in the water, along with Sergey Pivovarnik. "Surge," as friends called him, started struggling in the water. His teammates tried to help, but he went under.
After the 911 call was made, friends of the popular teen stood by crying and praying, hoping for a miracle.
Dive teams were called in and the recovery team used sonar to find the teen. In around 10-12 feet of water, they had found him, but it was too late. Crews say he had already been under for two hours.
Bryan Downie, with the Parma Fire Department, says in his 20 years on the force, this is the first time he has seen this happen here.
"It's not really a recreational body of water. That's why the 'no swimming' signs are up, 'no ice skating' signs," said Downie.
Parma city pools have been closed because of financing.
As the crowd continued to grow, it was obvious this became a devastating day for the Parma community, and an absolute nightmare for family members.
"I couldn't believe it. I can't believe it. It just feels like a dream," said Nick Pivovarnik.
Grief counselors are available at Parma High School for students affected by the loss of junior Sergey Pivovarnik. According to Parma City Schools, Sergey was scheduled to enroll in the medical program at Normandy next year. He was a member of the football team, peer mentor, student worker, and all around great kid.