‘A freak accident:’ Teen recovering at Children’s Hospital after leg impaled by metal in creek

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — There has been a renewed call for safety after a 15-year-old boy was severely injured in the Montour Run Creek over the weekend, in an area known as the ‘Groveton Swimming Hole’ near the Robinson Township-Coraopolis border.

The Robinson Township Volunteer Fire Company said several people have been hurt over the years, impaled by rebar.

Family members told us a piece of metal impaled the foot and leg of a 15-year-old boy after they said he jumped from a rock into the creek, something his dad told us he’s done before. But this time, it could have been deadly.

Neighbors like Danny Shortridge of Coraopolis reacted to the news, after the victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

“Just a freak accident,” Shortridge said. “They swim in this a lot, and 99% of the time, no one gets hurt.”

Family members said the teen is now recovering at Children’s Hospital, where he went into surgery and is awaiting another. But doctors at Kids Plus Pediatrics said this is just the start of a dangerous season, one that often starts as a fun carefree day by the water that could end in tragedy.

“This is also the age of kids where they’re into risk-taking behaviors and challenging one another — it’s a bad combination,” said Dr. Todd Wolynn.

But Wolynn said there are several hazards of jumping into bodies of water where you can’t see the bottom, with many injuries stemming from jumps of less than three feet.

“If they were impaled, it doesn’t matter how you jump in. All you need is enough force, a couple feet, hit the water and if there’s literally a piece of rebar sticking up, oh my gosh…that’s so scary,” Wolynn said.

But it’s beyond what’s below the water’s surface. Robinson volunteer firefighters measured the creek water at 54 degrees over the weekend, saying swimmers could have also experienced hypothermia. Dr. Wolynn says that’s not all.

“We’ve had deaths. I think it was a few years ago of kids getting into a river and being taken by the current,” Wolynn said.

In the meantime, fire officials are warning swimmers to consider safer areas for recreational purposes.

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