GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJZ) — Heart-wrenching 911 calls are released in the tragic drowning of a 10-year-old boy at an icy Gaithersburg pond.
Christie Ileto explains that pond is completely fenced in, but it was not on the day of the drowning.
Because the retention pond was partly fenced in, three boys made their way to the icy waters. Now new 911 calls detail what happened after they fell through.
Panicked and helpless, a passerby calls 911 when he sees three boys struggling to get out of an icy Gaithersburg stormwater pond this week.
Rescue tapes just released chronicle the horror as he stands by unable to do anything but watch them fight for their lives.
Caller: “I see three kids in a pond. It looks like it’s iced over and muddy and I see them and they’re stuck.”
The caller realizes one of those kids, 10-year-old D’Angelo McMullen, is in serious trouble.
911 Operator: “Can they hold their heads out of the water?
Caller: “They barely can. One keeps going under.”
911 Operator: “How far down?”
Caller: “The one is drowning.”
911 Operator: “We’ve got help coming to the area if you can stay on the main road.”
Caller: “I’m going to watch this kid die.”
Two boys make it out.
“When I saw those first two boys come out, they just wrapped them up and put them in a heated ambulance,” said Sergio Reyes, father of classmate.
McMullen, a fourth-grader, couldn’t hold on. It takes rescue crews 30 minutes to find him in the muddy waters.
A fence, put up days after the horrifying drowning, was apparently supposed to have been in place the whole time–but wasn’t.
While state law did not require a fence, the site plans for the development did.
Now the fence, up two days too late, is a warning driven tragically home to area children to stay off the ice.
Legislation will now go before state lawmakers requiring fences around stormwater ponds.
The boys who survived were D’Angelo McMullen’s brother and a classmate.
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