Houston Man Fatally Electrocuted While Trying to Save His Sister's Cat

Posted by Jason Sarna
Andrew Pasek
Photo courtesy Pasek family via People

Floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey claim the life of a young hero.

A 25-year-old Houston man died after he was electrocuted while trying to save his sister's cat.

"He was just trying to be my hero," Alyssa Pasek tells PEOPLE of her brother, Andrew Pasek. "He just really wanted to go and be the one to call me and tell me, 'She's okay, she's fine, don't worry.'"

READ MORE: Harrowing Pet Rescue Stories from Hurricane Harvey

Before evacuating her home on Monday, Alyssa tried to convince her cat to come downstairs. But the cat refused.

Her brother texted her asking if she had left the cat behind. She said yes, but she told him not to worry.

But, he did.

Andrew called his sister Tuesday afternoon and said he was in her neighborhood and was going to check on the cat.

"I said, 'Okay, please be safe,'" Alyssa recalls. "I asked how deep the water was - I was so afraid of him drowning. He told me he loved me and that was it."

The Army Corps of Engineers had done a controlled release of the Addicks Reservoir and Alyssa's house had five feet of water inside. But Andrew told his sister the water was only knee deep in her neighbors' lawns.

But when the water was released from the reservoir, the power wasn't shut off, and Andrew's ankle touched a live wire in the water.

In 2011, when Andrew was studying business at the University of Texas-San Antonio, a car ran over his ankle. After three surgeries, Andrew had plates and metal screws installed. The current was drawn straight to the metal, his mother says.

"Because he had plates and screws in his ankle, the minute that he stepped into the live water, it knocked him off his feet," says JoDell. "His friend was walking behind him and Andrew pushed him away and said, 'Don't touch me, I'm dying,' as he fell into this light post that must have had this live wire. The current went to his ankle and he lost his balance and he fell into the water."

His friend ran to a nearby home on higher ground and called 911. He then called his mother who called Andrew's mother, but because the power was on and there was current in the water, rescue workers could not get to Andrew.

"They maybe could have resuscitated him if they could have gotten to him. But the power was turned on so they couldn't get to him. They could not go try and help him," JoDell says. "He laid in that water. He probably drowned. And burned."

JoDell says her son was in the water for over thirty minutes before the power company came and turned off the power so rescue workers could retrieve his body.

"This is where I'm angry," says JoDell. "They could have electrocuted someone else. It could have been a child."

Pasek family
Photo courtesy Pasek family via People

JoDell is now determined to speak up about safety and power lines being turned off near Hurricane Harvey floodwater so that other people don't suffer the same fate as her son.

"It breaks my heart," she says of Andrew. "He was just a helper. He always wanted to help. He had a Jeep Cherokee with a tow bar and he was constantly helping people with their cars out of ditches. He was always helping."

"I love my son," she adds. "And it's so tragic that that happened. I decided that night that we want to make it count. If he was gonna have to die, I didn't want anybody else to die doing the same thing."

What do you think of this tragic story? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Houston Man Fatally Electrocuted While Trying to Save His Sister's Cat