16-year-old drowns rescuing little brother after they fall through ice, OH officials say

Dawson White
·2 min read

A tragic chain of events unfolded Tuesday after teen siblings plunged through the ice on an Ohio lake, officials say.

Around 6:30 p.m., a 13-year-old boy screamed for help from a dock on Rocky Fork Lake, WLWT reported. A contractor heard the teen’s cries and called 911.

“I’m at Rocky Fork. I had some little kid come up to me and said his sister’s in the water dead,” the caller said, according to the outlet. “He come running up to us saying, ‘Somebody please help me, please help me.’”

Officials arrived at the scene and learned the boy and his 16-year-old sister had fallen through the ice on the lake, WCPO reported. The girl drowned.

Officials said the girl rescued her brother before her death.

“After the fact, it turns out that she got him out before she succumbed,” Branden Jackman of the Paint Creek Joint EMS and Fire District told WCPO. “Don’t go out on the ice. It caused a very bad tragedy last night.”

Divers searched for the girl for hours before pulling her body from under the ice around 11 p.m., WXIX reported. The boy was hospitalized and is in stable condition.

Their names have not been released.

“The water was 36 degrees. Ya know, you look at water and think, ‘It’s just water,’” Jackman said, according to WLWT. “A 36-degree water is no different than a three-story house fire. They’ll both kill you just as quick.”

While responding to the scene, Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer Jason Lagore suffered a “medical emergency” before falling off the dock and into the lake, WXIX reported.

Lagore was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, WCPO reported.

“Officer Lagore was a dedicated officer, having served 15 years with the Ohio Department of Natural Resource,” the ODNR said of the married father of two, WXIX reported. “He was responsible for the first ODNR K-9 academy, led the Division of Parks and Watercraft K-9 training program, and was well respected across the state for his expertise working with K-9s.”

The incident is under investigation.

Rocky Fork Lake is in Highland County, roughly 60 miles east of Cincinnati.