Father of 2 drowns in flood while livestreaming

A man in New Zealand tragically drowned during a flood while livestreaming on social media. Daniel Mark Miller, a 34-year-old father of two, was walking through a submerged street in Wairau Valley, Auckland, in January when he fell into a manhole. Miller had been attempting to help those in the neighborhood throughout the flood and was filming himself at the time. His father, Steve, was watching the livestream when the footage cut out, leading him to believe that his son had simply dropped his phone in the water. He later learned that the 34-year-old had fallen into a manhole and drowned after the cover came off during the storm.

Steve spent the entire night anxiously attempting to contact his son and tried to contact his flatmates when he could not reach him. Police arrived at his house the next morning to notify him that his son‘s body had been recovered in a culvert on Target Road in Wairau Valley. Miller’s friend Tony Hudson has urged local authorities to provide more safety features to manholes so further accidents don‘t occur. He has seen numerous manhole covers that had become detached during the flooding.

Executive Director of Auckland Council’s Watercare, Andrew Chin, said the council has used manholes to gain access to stormwater channels, but some manhole covers can come off during severe storms when water systems become backlogged. However, some manhole covers in flood-prone areas are fitted with hinges or safety nets to help prevent accidents.

Miller’s father has since ventured to the manhole where his son perished, where flowers and a cross now lay as a memorial. Miller’s death is one of four that occurred during the heavy storms and a summer‘s worth of rainfall that led to widespread destruction in the region.