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Wellington Gavin, Second Teen Pulled From Bronx River, Dies

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A second teenage boy pulled from the Bronx River has died.

A spokeswoman for Montefiore Medical Center said 13-year-old Wellington Gavin died Sunday afternoon.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported, the boy died with his mother at his side.

After two difficult days of standing vigil at Gavin’s bedside, the family made the tough decision to disconnect life support equipment. They signed the papers, but before anything could be done, the teen died while he was still connected to the machines.

For Gavin’s grief stricken mother it was a small mercy that she did not have to end the fight for her son. Now, her impulse is to protect other kids, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

Divers pulled Gavin and 13-year-old Erikson Villa of the Bronx from the river on Friday near Starlight Park about an hour apart after a report of two missing swimmers.

Gavin had jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue his cousin, Villa.

“He did jump in the water to save his cousin so it was an act of heroism,” Reverend Joel Bauza explained.

Both boys were unconscious and unresponsive. They were rushed to nearby hospitals where Villa was pronounced dead on Friday.

Witnesses say the two victims were part of a larger group of children who decided to go into the water.

As the boys’ families prepare to send their bodies back to the Dominican Republic, questions have been raised about why there was no protective fencing around the docks at Starlight Park.

“The family has a lot of concerns about the park safety and they want to address that,” Rev. Bauza said.

Bauza told CBS 2’s Langford that he was in a community meeting on Friday afternoon where the issue was raised by a local activist.

“She goes, ‘we need one’ she told the parks officials we need a fence there because what happens if a child jumps into the water or falls into the water or someone accidentally drowns or something happens,” he said.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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