The mother of two boys swept to their deaths by a raging river does not blame the two men charged with manslaughter in the tragic accident.
“Never for one second,” Sarah Giangregorio told Inside Edition in an exclusive interview. “It’s not in my heart. They loved the boys.”
Tyler Jennings, 34, and Chad Staley, 32, have been charged second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the June deaths of Dylan Giangregorio, 9, and his brother, Preston, 6.
Jennings is the boys’ uncle.
Sarah had taken her sons for a picnic at Letchworth State Park in upstate New York, where breathtaking waterfalls and rocky cliffs rise from the verdant landscape. It has been called the Grand Canyon of the East.
The family was joined by her sister, Jennings and friends.
While she and her sister prepared the meal, Jennings and Staley took the boys and three other children for a hike.
They waded into the fast-moving Genesee River above the 70-foot-high Lower Falls, in a posted and restricted area, authorities said.
The children lost their footing and were swept over the falls with Jennings. Staley clung to a rock and didn’t go over.
The boys were killed. The other children survived.
Sarah said she remembers hearing people screaming.
“I knew right away they were gone. My sister kept saying, ‘Don’t say that.’ But I knew they were not with us anymore.”
In November, a grand jury indicted both men. They have pleaded not guilty. Their next court appearance is scheduled for January.
“Tyler [Jennings] was a mess,” Sarah said. "It’s very hard for him. He kept saying, ‘my boys, my boys.’’’