An Ohio girl, her 6-year-old brother and a police officer were hospitalized earlier this week after a daring rescue from an icy retention pond in northeast Columbus, according to reports.
Officials said the 9-year-old girl wanted to play on the ice and her little brother followed, reports WSYX. He fell through the ice and the girl unsuccessfully tried to rescue her brother. The boy was in the water for about 13 minutes before authorities pulled him out, according to the station. A local maintenance man saved the girl.
Officer Randall Lyons, a 20-year Columbus Police veteran, managed to rescue the boy after being tied to a rope with another officer and a local maintenance man holding on to it, officer Deb Paxton said in a news conference after the incident.
“I didn’t know if he was gonna be able to reach him,” Paxton said, noting that she briefly stepped onto the ice. “In my perception, he was still too far away and I didn’t think he was gonna get there. It was heartbreaking to see that and not be able to do anything … it’s just terrifying.”
The boy was in full cardiac arrest at the time of his rescue, but paramedics were able to resuscitate him, WSYX reports. Paxton said Lyons was “shivering uncontrollably” when he got to land and soon collapsed.
The officer was treated for hypothermia after the incident and both children were rushed to a local hospital. Lyons and the little girl were expected to recover, WSYC reports, but the boy was in critical condition on Monday.
Later in the day, Lyons spoke from his hospital bed about the incident, saying that he regrets not being able to pull the boy out of the water sooner.
“I don’t really consider myself to be a hero,” he said. “But would I do it again? Absolutely. I mean, I have small kids myself and that’s what I was thinking.”
Police said the children’s mother was not home at the time, but raced home when she learned what happened, WSYX reports. She reportedly got into a minor car accident and responding officers drove her to the hospital to be with her children.