Grandmother of man who died trying to save swimmers in Sodus Bay: 'He's in heaven'

Berkeley Brean
Updated: July 03, 2020 05:42 PM
Created: July 03, 2020 04:43 PM

SODUS POINT, N.Y. (WHEC) — One of the young men who jumped into the water in Sodus Bay Thursday to save three people from drowning died Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Draven Starr-Howell was 20 years old. 


When News10NBC spoke with his grandmother on the phone late afternoon she said crying, "he's in heaven." 

Linda Howell first spoke to us Friday morning as she was driving to Rochester General Hospital to be with her grandson. 

"All we know is he jumped off the pier to try to get three women that were having trouble swimming next to the pier," Howell said. 

Howell said her grandson was one of the people who jumped into the water at the pier on Sodus Bay Thursday to try to save three women, including a teenage girl. Howell and the Wayne County Sheriff's office says Draven was overcome by two foot waves and the current along the pier. 

Lt. Robert Milby, Wayne County Sheriff's Office: "And the undertow and the waves were too rough. They overcame him."

Lieutenant Milby says the actions of Draven and another Good Samaritan rescued the women. 

Draven was first taken to Newark Wayne Hospital and then flown to RGH by Mercy Flight helicopter last night. 

Brean: "Did he know the people he was trying to help?"

Linda Howell: "Nope."

Brean: "He just saw them struggling and he decided to go help them."

Howell: "Yes sir. That's my grandson."

Starr-Howell was 20 years old. 

He had four sisters and one brother. 

He worked at Lowe's in Macedon. 

He graduated from Webster Schroeder High School with a GED. 

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