Woman drowns after rescuing dogs in Parleys Creek

Posted at 7:26 PM, Apr 23, 2017

MILLCREEK, Utah -- A woman trying to rescue her own dogs from a raging creek ended up drowning.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. Sunday where Parleys Creek flows into Tanner Park.

Police say 58-year-old Liudmilla Feldman and her husband were walking their dogs at the time.

"The dogs went into the water and got caught in the current, she went in to rescue the dogs, she got caught up in the current," said Lt. Dan McConkey with the Unified Police Department. "It doesn't take much to lose your balance and fall into this water and be swept down."

The husband then went in after his wife, according to police. It was an alarming sight for witnesses in the area.

"So I was coming down walking my dog and I saw a lady getting carried down by the rapids going around and around," said witness Giovanni Bardelli.

Bardelli said what happened next was all instinct.

"I jumped in the water and went after her, the current pulled me around like two times too, but finally I grabbed onto her foot and I pulled her out of the water and took her into shore," Bardelli said.

That's when a couple other complete strangers, who also happened to be walking their dogs, performed CPR.

"By the time I got there she was completely passed out, she was starting to look purple," said witness Jared Gonzalez. "It really is scary seeing somebody lying there not breathing. It really is an experience you can't put into words."

Police said the woman was underwater for more than 90 seconds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This creek runs quick, with the runoff it's starting to run really fast," McConkey said.

The woman's husband did survive. The dogs are also expected to be OK.

As for Bardelli, he realizes he put his own life at risk, but said that never crossed his mind at the time, he just wishes he could have saved this woman's life.

"You got to look out for other people, I mean if it was anybody it doesn't matter who it is you got to do something to help them out, if it was my mom I'd hope that somebody jumps in to save her life too," Bardelli said.

Police said it's important for people walking their dogs near Parley's Creek to keep them on a leash so they don't end up in the water. They said this year the creek is especially dangerous due to all the runoff.