Deceased Central Regional High School student Adriana Kuch, 14, wasn’t just a victim of bullying. She was also a hero who once saved the life of a triplet.
Video footage has emerged of Kuch jumping into a pool to save the life of Luciana, 9, one of three triplets.
“It was August, last summer, and Adriana had been over to help me look after the kids,” Luciana’s mother, Roxanne Gattuso, told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview.
“I went inside to get everyone some drinks and while I was there, and Adriana was looking after the kids. My daughter, Luciana, had been swimming in the pool,” she added.
That’s when this happened:
Luciana jumped in the pool but began experiencing problems, prompting Kuch to jump up from where she’d been seated.
“Adriana had told me she first thought she was playing, but realized something was wrong. She immediately leapt into action. Without a second thought, she ripped off her hoodie, jumped into the pool, and saved her,” Gattuso said.
Looking back, she’s horrified by the prospect of what could have happened to her daughter had Kuch, who’s now dead, not been there.
“Adriana was like an older sister to them. Luciana said, ‘I’m ok mommy, I swallowed water.’ But that could have been another tragic moment,” she said, reportedly holding back tears.
Describing how they met, she said that Kuch and her father moved to her neighborhood about six years ago and quickly became like a “second daughter” to her, especially when Gattuso’s husband died.
“I lost my husband suddenly in 2021, and Adriana was a huge help to me while I was grieving his loss. I met Adriana when she was about seven or eight when she knocked on my door. My heart broke for her because she had just lost her mother. So when I lost my husband, she understood where the kids were coming from and became a huge comfort to me during that time,” she explained.
As previously reported, Kuch’s mother committed suicide sometime in the faraway past. She herself also eventually committed suicide earlier this month after four of her fellow students viciously attacked her and then spread a video of the attack on the Internet.
“The video showed girls throwing a drink at the teen, then kicking and dragging her down school hallways. They pushed Adriana into red lockers lining the school hallways and one of the girls in a pink shirt punched Kuch repeatedly,” CBS News reported.
“Another girl outside of the video frame laughed as she recorded the scene. Two adults came in to break up the attack, with one adult pulling the teens apart. Adriana lay hurt and bruised on the hallway floor as the adult tried to help her up.”
Watch the video below (*Graphic content warning):
This is a whole new level of bullying. I’m glad the four teenage girls where charged for the beating of Adriana Kuch (14), who committed suicide two days later after this video was spread online. One is now charged with aggravated assault, and could face court as an adult, one… https://t.co/6tO4s8Xb0n pic.twitter.com/4QlwldDBtS
— DeL2000 (@DeL2000) February 11, 2023
Gattuso has yet to break Kuch’s death to her triplets.
“I can’t bring myself to tell them yet. Adriana was such a huge part of their lives. [After I lost my husband], my kids kept asking, ‘Who else is going to die, mom?’ They just adored Adriana, so I couldn’t tell them,” she said.
“It’s a huge loss to the community, a huge loss for our family, and I feel like the block is empty now,” she added.
Gattuso then recalled the day that police suddenly showed up outside Kuch’s home.
“I remember thinking to myself, please let it not be Adriana. Please no. Then I called Michael [Adriana’s father], who said she was gone. My heart dropped, I’d already lost my husband and now I’m losing my second daughter,” she recalled.
The four girls who attacked Kuch have since all been suspended and criminally charged. Questions are now also emerging about the school district’s potential complicity given reports that it’d ignored the bullying that she and other students had faced.
Students like Danielle Ledesma, who protested outside Central Regional High School last week with a sign that read “I doubt that.”
“My sign is the response from the superintendent when my friend said that she got sexually assaulted in Central Regional High School,” she told the outlet.
“I’ve been severely bullied throughout my entire life,” she added, explaining that she’s “been having panic attacks in the school on a daily basis” because of the bullying she herself experiences.
“It got to the point where I now have all of these meltdowns, all of these crying fits, panic attacks, whatever it may be, more than 5-6 times a day. Every single time that I have one at the school, they do absolutely nothing,’ she continued.
Protest outside Central Regional High School continues and is growing as students call for policy changes and raise awareness against bullying following the death of a 14 year old student last week. @News12NJ pic.twitter.com/FVqFl1Cytx
— Jim Murdoch (@ReporterJim) February 8, 2023
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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