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Boy Tries to Save Brother in Reservoir; Both Drown

Times Staff Writer

Two young brothers drowned Sunday when one slipped into a reservoir and the other jumped in to try to save him, police said.

The boys, Mark Aaron, 12, and Clare Bryan Hupp, 13, were returning home from the Montclair Plaza shopping center with three friends at about 3 p.m. when they decided to take a shortcut, said Montclair Police Sgt. Bill Casey.

Slipped on Embankment

Their route took them alongside a fenced reservoir operated by the Chino Basin Water District, adjacent to the city-owned Wilderness Park near San Bernardino Street and Helena Avenue, officers said.

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Mark slipped on a steep embankment and fell into a narrow water-filled ravine, Casey said. The boy apparently could not swim and began screaming for help, the sergeant said. His older brother jumped in after him.

In the ensuing struggle, both boys slipped beneath the water, Casey said.

One of the other boys entered the water to help, but could not find the Hupp boys. At the point where the first boy slipped in, the water was 12 or 13 feet deep, and the ravine is 15 feet wide, Casey said.

The three surviving boys ran four or five blocks, past several homes, to find a pay phone, which they used to call police on the 911 line.

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But help came too late. Montclair police officers, city firefighters and members of the San Bernardino County Search and Rescue and Diving Team recovered the bodies in about 12 feet of water, Casey said.

It was the first time in his eight years on the police force that anyone has drowned in the fenced-off reservoir, the sergeant said. It was not clear to officers how the boys got through the fence. Investigators were to interview the surviving boys today.


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