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Parma father and 10-year-old son die after incident on Wallace Lake in Berea, medical examiner says

1 child remains hospitalized
Wallace Lake search
Posted at 8:34 PM, Jun 28, 2021

BEREA, Ohio — A Parma father and his son have died following an incident on Wallace Lake in Berea Monday evening, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.

A man and his six children were out on Wallace Lake, fishing in a non-swimming area, around a half-mile south of where the designated swimming area is.

Around 6 p.m., the family decided to jump in the lake for a swim, but had trouble swimming in the area, police said.

Four of the children were able to get out of the water, but two of the children and the man were unable to, according to police.

Cleveland Metroparks police responded to the scene along with the Berea Police Department, Middleburg Heights Police Department and the Community Emergency Response Team.

Just under an hour after the incident, around 6:55 p.m., an 11-year-old girl was pulled from the lake. She is currently at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Around 7:20 p.m., a boy and the father were pulled from the lake.

The boy, identified by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner as Luke Lozitsky, 10, of Parma, and his father, identified as Veniamin Lozitsky, 37, of Parma, were pronounced dead at Southwest General Health Center.

"Our thoughts are with the family of this tragic incident," said Katherine Dolan, Chief of Police at Cleveland Metroparks.

George Townsend, who was visiting Wallace Lake with his two daughters, witnessed the rescue attempt, and had a warning for all parents this summer swim season.

"It’s unbelievable, now you have to sit and watch, you have to be harder on your kids while they're in the water, watch them to see what happens, they were just having a family day over there," Townsend said.

"Six children total in the water by himself, I feel horrible, I don’t know what to say about it, but to even take them in like that, prayers for the family.”

In a statement, Cleveland Metroparks urged guests to only swim at the designated swim area at Wallace Lake, which has a beach access and is shallow.

The metroparks said, as an inland lake, the water at Wallace Lake is usually calm but the area where the incident occurred is not in a designated swim area and is towards the southern portion of the lake. The area is obscured by tree cover and has unpredictable depths.

"We urge guests to follow our swimming safety tips when swimming in Cleveland Metroparks: Swim only in designated swimming areas and only when lifeguards are present, never swim alone, inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets, and never leave children unattended near the water," said Jeff Tolman, spokesperson for the metroparks.

Cleveland Metroparks does not have another drowning incident on record at Wallace Lake.

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