GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJZ) — Thin ice claims the life of a Rockville boy.
Alex DeMetrick reports what started as a sliding game ended in a desperate search in water too muddy to see through.
Montgomery County firefighters and rescue teams descended on a sediment pond in Gaithersburg late Monday afternoon. Three boys had been sliding on the ice for fun when it gave way. Two managed to make it to shore; the third disappeared under the ice.
Frantic researchers could only feel for the boy once they got in the water.
“It took about 30 minutes to find the child. This is a sediment pond; it’s a catchment pond. There’s a lot of mud, a lot of silt, so the water is not clear at all,” said Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief Scott Graham.
All three boys were taken to the hospital. Ten-year-old D’Angelo McMullen of Rockville later died.
“Tragic, man. Tragic. I see a lot of kids playing here all the time. I never would imagine something like that happening,” said neighbor Jesse Heath.
“This thing should have been fenced to keep the kids from walking in there,” said neighbor Mac Tischer.
It’s been a few winters since it’s been cold enough for ice but it’s still not cold enough here to be safe.
“In Montgomery County, there is no ice in this area–even after last week’s cold spell–that’s going to sustain a human being,” Graham said.
Parents are being urged to warn their children.
“Don’t go out on any ice in this county unless it’s an ice rink,” Graham said.
It’s a warning driven tragically home in a muddy pond.
“Unfortunately, they played at the wrong time on the wrong ice,” Tischer said.
Warnings to stay off ice extends beyond Montgomery County and includes warnings to keep pets off as well. People have died trying to rescue dogs who fall through the ice.
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