December 19, 2014

Elyria
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Medina man drowns trying to save girl in Lake Erie

Peter Radke

Peter Radke

Update: A memorial fund for the Radke family has been set up at GoFundMe.com.

A 43-year-old Medina Township father of four died Saturday evening trying to save a girl from drowning in Lake Erie.

Coast Guard officials said Peter Radke was among a group at Bay Village’s Huntington Beach who jumped into the lake to help a young girl who was struggling in the water about 6 p.m.

The girl was rescued, but Radke did not emerge.

An official from Cleveland Metroparks said first responders from 11 agencies aided in the search with the help of divers and a helicopter.

The divers found Radke’s body after three hours.

The family of Peter Radke released this statement:

“Words cannot express the profound sorrow we feel over the death of our beloved Pete. He was dedicated to serving God and anyone in need. While we never expected to lose him so soon, we take comfort in knowing Pete’s final moments were spent saving the life of another. Peter Todd Radke, devoted husband and father of four, would have had it no other way.”

Vera Shelton, Radke’s next-door neighbor, said Radke was at Huntington Beach celebrating his daughter’s birthday with his family Saturday afternoon.

Shelton said he was a good, hard-working family man who had a strong Christian faith.

“He was a wonderful person,” she said. “He was always doing things with his children and he was always working so much.

“He is in a far better place now. Pete is with the Lord.”

Radke owned his own technology consulting company called RocksTech, which he operated from his home for more than 12 years, according to his LinkedIn website.

Additionally, Radke was an interactive media specialist for Hitchcock Fleming & Associates Inc., a creative marketing firm based out of Akron.

He had been with the company more than five years.

A spokesman for Cleveland Metroparks, which owns Huntington Beach, said the incident is under investigation to determine what happened.

“We are saddened by the incident that occurred yesterday evening at Huntington Beach and send our thoughts and prayers to the family of Peter Radke,” the spokesman said in a press release.

“Huntington Beach has long been a destination for families to gather in our community and nothing
is more important to us than the safety of our visitors.”

Funeral arrangements for Radke have not been announced yet.

Contact Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.