By Jeff Gallatin
A teacher who went into rough Lake Erie waters off Huntington Beach Monday morning to try to rescue a student remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday morning after the incident, which sent her and two other people to area hospitals.
As West Life went to press, Laura Recco, 46, remained in the St. John Medical Center intensive care unit, a nursing supervisor said. The student she went into the water for, Diamond Harris, 9, was listed in stable condition at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, where she was transferred after initially being taken to St. John. Christian Pesarchik, 19, a lifeguard who went into the water after the duo, was treated and released at St. John for exhaustion after he and others pulled the duo to shore, officials said.
Bay Village fire Chief Chris Lyons said the department was called at 10:44 a.m. He said Recco and Harris were at the beach with a Positive Education Program class outing from the Hopewell Day Treatment Center in Cleveland.
“Apparently, they went in the water before the lifeguards went on duty at 11 (a.m.),” Lyons said. “Because of the rough conditions on the lake, the girl apparently got in trouble in the rough water, so the adult woman went after her and got into trouble as well.”
Lyons said several Cleveland Metroparks lifeguards, including Pesarchik, who were preparing to go on duty, as well as a bystander, Clint Kranes, saw the two were in trouble and went in the water to get them out.
After the duo was brought in from the water, Lyons said, Harris was breathing, but Recco was not. He said responding Bay Village firefighters administered CPR and revived Recco before all the patients were taken to St. John. The beach was closed for the day after the incident.