A California father died on Sunday when he jumped into the water to save his 9-year-old son who had lost control of his bike and fell into an aqueduct.
Osbaldo Rodriguez, 31, of Hesperia, California, was riding his bike with his son along the aqueduct when the accident occurred, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Rodriguez immediately helped his son to safety. But then Rodriguez began to struggle in the water, went under and didn’t resurface.
It took the sheriff’s dive team up to two hours to find him a short distance from where he entered the water. The coroner is still determining the exact cause of death.
“For the most part, there are no incidents, and in this case it was just a terrible accident,” Cindy Bachman of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, told KABC.
Rodriguez’s son had recently learned how to ride his bike without training wheels, family members told the news outlet, and it’s unclear how he lost control. Rodriguez’s sister said he knew how to swim but never went into large bodies of water.
According to KABC, there are signs along the aqueduct advising people not to ride bikes along the asphalt path, although people do walk along it.
Local resident, Rachel Graham, told the news outlet that the accident was “terrible” and “very tragic.” When she first heard of the accident on Monday morning, she also thought of another man who drowned in the same aqueduct less than a year ago.
She added: “It’s good exercise, for us we do it three times a week, and it’s safe, well I thought it was safe. Of course, not for little kids on bicycles.”