July 3, 2018 -Wilbraham- On Friday, June 29, 2018 at approximately 5:14 p.m. officers from Wilbraham Police Department responded to Red Bridge Road after receiving a 911 call for the report of swimmers in distress.
Upon arriving on scene several witnesses recounted how two small children had gone into the water and began to have difficultly staying above water due to a strong current. Several adults who were present went into the water to aid the two children.
Two of those adults were overtaken by the current and swept away as onlookers attempted to help. The two victims did not appear to resurface.
The Massachusetts State Police Dive Team and Air-wing were deployed to aid in the search. One of the victims was located that evening and the dive team was able to assist in the recovery of the deceased. The search for the second victim was paused at sunset. An extensive search resumed again on Saturday, June 30th, from which there were no results.
On Monday, July 2, 2018 at approximately 7:30 a.m., a call was received reporting the body of a man near the dam on Cottage Avenue at the Ludlow and Wilbraham town lines. Officers from the Wilbraham Police Department and Wilbraham Fire Department responded and located the second victim.
The victims have been identified as Mr. Theeb Alyami, 27, of Hartford Conn., and Mr. Jaser Daham Alrakah, 25, of Springfield Mass. Both are foreign nationals here in the U.S., from Saudi Arabia, and are students attending local colleges.
This is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Wilbraham Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni offers his sympathies to both Mr. Alyami’s and Mr. Alrakah’s families during this tragic time.