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‘He died a hero’: Pennsylvania man drowns after jumping into lake to save 2 children

A 37-year-old Pennsylvania man died Thursday night after he rescued two children who appeared to be drowning at Nockamixon State Park.

Marvin Alexan Fernandez Chicas, of Telford, Pennsylvania, was reportedly fishing around 4:30 p.m. at the park in Quakertown when he saw the children struggling in the water, according to Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck.

The unidentified children were in the Tohickon Creek, an area where swimming is prohibited near the cliffs, said Wesley Robinson, a spokesman for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Chicas jumped into the water and pulled the children to the shore before he began to struggle himself and disappeared under the water, Robinson said. Divers recovered his body in Lake Nockamixon shortly before 7:30 p.m., he added.

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Robinson did not have any information about the rescued children, including their ages or whether they required any medical treatment.

Chicas, who is originally from Honduras, was not related to the children he rescued, Buck said. An autopsy confirmed drowning as his cause of death, which has been ruled accidental, Buck said.

“Our office extends its deepest condolences,” Buck said. “It is very tragic. He died a hero.”

The drowning death is the second confirmed in June in Bucks County.

Nine-year-old Joey Malcolm Jr. died on June 19 after he drowned while fishing in a neighborhood pond in the Pennsylvania borough of New Britain, authorities said.

A GoFundMe for Chicas’ family has been established to help with the expenses needed for the funeral and to send his body back to Honduras. As of Monday morning, the fundraiser had collected more than $38,000.

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