On Easter Sunday L.A. local Jesse Hernandez's family’s tradition turned into a nightmare. Jesse, 13, fell 25 feet through a drainage pipe near the L.A. River while playing with his cousins and was lost amidst the maze of pipes for hours.
Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, phoned into On Air With Ryan Seacrest on Monday, April 2, and recalled the terrifying event, revealing that the young boy will be OK.
The family had joined together for an Easter picnic at Griffith Park when Jesse and his cousins had run off to play. He fell through a wooden plank and plummeted 25 feet into the vast drainage system. After looking for him for five hours and recruiting hundreds of firefighters and urban search-and-rescue crews the family started to pray while LAFD initiated a press conference.
After more than 12 hours of searching, Jesse was miraculously found alive and alert.
"We were thankfully able to discover this boy about 4:30 this morning miraculously inside a 4-foot wide pipe that was at the very minimum full of 2-feet of flowing sewage at about 15 miles per hour," Bryan shared with Ryan. "Amazingly he was conscious. He was alert. He was talking to responders."
They found Jesse after searching 2,400 feet of pipe when they opened a maintenance hatch to insert cameras. Rescuers handed him a cellphone right away so he could call his family who were frantically awaiting hearing his voice again.
Bryan added that it's a miracle Jesse is alive given "the toxic environment and the fumes that could certainly debilitate a person and render a person unconscious."
Jesse is currently in stable condition and seeking treatment at a local hospital.
Photos: The Los Angeles Times