CARTERVILLE (AP) – A 12-year-old southern Illinois boy has died after falling into an icy pond with a friend who was rescued, authorities said.
Emergency crews were called to the Carterville pond around 5 p.m. The boys were taken to Herrin Hospital and Justin Johnson-Stewart of Carterville was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. Sunday, said Williamson County Coroner Junior Burke.
The boys were walking on a frozen pond when the ice broke and they fell into the water, Burke said. Rescue efforts were hampered as responders tried to move their boats through about 2 inches of ice on the water, authorities said.
The rescued boy was being treated. Justin was under water for about 30 minutes before rescuers could reach him, said Carterville Fire Chief Bruce Talley.
One neighbor, Jack Brown, said he heard screaming coming from the pond and rushed outside. He said neighbors used extension cords to try to rescue the boys.
“I wish that there was some way I would have been able to get to them quicker, so that we could have saved them both,” Brown said. “I don’t know really what else could have been done.”
The coroner and Carterville police were investigating. Carterville is 10 miles east of Carbondale.