10-year-old South Dakota boy dies saving sister from drowning in river, family says

A 10-year-old boy died while saving his younger sister from drowning in a South Dakota river last week, his family said.

Ricky Lee Sneve was on a fishing trip with his father and three siblings in the Big Sioux River on Saturday during, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

After the three younger siblings fell into the water, father Chad Sneve tried to rescue two of the children while Ricky jumped in to retrieve his younger sister. Ricky was able to push his sister back on shore, but when his father and siblings returned to land, Ricky was missing, his mother Nicole Euffers told the Argus Leader.

The young boy is now regarded by family and friends as a hero who risked his life to save his loved ones.

Ricky Lee Sneve. (via GoFundMe)
Ricky Lee Sneve. (via GoFundMe)

"He saved his sister's life," said Euffers in an interview with the local news outlet.

On Saturday evening, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office announced a large scale rescue operation at the river in search of the 10-year-old on their Facebook page. Nearly three hours after the search began, the sheriff's office followed up with the update that the body of the deceased boy had been located and retrieved from the water.

Chad Sneve said his son was the type of kid who would do anything for anyone.

"He was generous, kind and special in more ways than I can begin to explain,” the father told the Argus Leader. “He was my everything, and he touched everyone he encountered.”

Ricky enjoyed fishing, working on four-wheelers with his father and lending a hand around the house to help his step-mother, siblings and other family, according to his parents.

Euffers told the Argus Leader her son as her "best friend" who will be incredibly missed.