New Jersey family members who drowned in their backyard pool were trying to rescue an 8-year-old boy from deep waters, but none of them could swim, police sources said.
The tragic test began when the boy, identified by neighbors as Sacchi Patel, jumped into a 6 or 7 foot deep section of the above ground pool at the recently purchased family home in East Brunswick on Monday afternoon, the sources said.
An aunt who was looking at the girl asked for help, and the 62-year-old girl’s grandfather, Bharat Patel, intervened to try to save her, according to sources.
But Bharat fought in the water because he did not know how to swim.
Then the girl’s mother, Nisha Patel, 33, jumped in. But Nisha also couldn’t swim and fought to save both her daughter and father-in-law before drowning, police sources said.
The aunt who witnessed the ordeal was able to catch up to the young woman in the water, but not soon enough to save her life, NBC New York reported.
The three lived in the Clearview Road house, which the family bought in April for $ 451,000, according to public records.
A neighbor who spoke to Bharat before the incident told NBC that the family had recently fixed the pool, and that Monday may have been the first time they had used it.
On Tuesday Mayor Brad Cohen told NJ.com that “the entire East Brunswick community is shocked and saddened.”
“Our condolences are with the family and that they find the strength of the community that shares their pain,” he said.
Authorities had originally been investigating whether the trio had been electrocuted in the pool, but ruled it out Tuesday afternoon.