Teen saved after getting trapped in storm sewer pipes

Jeffrey LaPorta pulled out from the sewer
By: John Roberts  

(Scroll down for video) A teen survived after being sucked into a storm sewer system, according to reports in the news media.

An overflowing creek in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, sent a 14-year-old on a trip of a lifetime.

Jeffrey LaPorta, traveled more than a quarter mile across multiple storm sewer drains, sometimes completely submerged in water, before finding enough breathing room to await rescue. He was finally removed from the sewage network after about 45 minutes, with only scrapes and bruises.

The teen was riding his bike with a friend on Tuesday through puddles created by the growing stream that flows near a strip mall parking lot in Parma. He fell into the water along the edge of the parking lot and was forced into a drain pipe that was about 2 feet in diameter, officials said.

"The water was moving so fast that it sucked him down the drain," said Doug Turner, a spokesman for the Parma Fire Department. "It sucked him and pulled him probably 100 yards, filled with water, where he wasn’t able to breathe."

The tube carried Jeffrey below the parking area and into the suburban storm sewer. He was then transported to a pipe that grew increasingly larger, Turner said. "Now, with the same amount of water flowing through there with a slightly larger opening, his head went above water a few times enabling him to breathe." At some point, the water became waist deep, Turner said.

"He was able to grab hold of something and stop and wedge himself in there," Turner said. "But he has traveled about 1,500 feet from where he initially started."

Firefighters eventually got to him and pulled him out. He was taken to a local hospital. He suffered just minor cuts and bruises.

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