The manager of a town in Maine died after saving his 4-year-old son from a frozen pond that they both fell into while on a walk on Friday, officials said.
The manager, Kevin Howell, 51, of Carmel, was with his son when they both fell through the ice while crossing Etna Pond, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
Mr. Howell got his son out of the water and onto the ice, and told the boy to get his mother.
The boy ran home, about a third of a mile away from the pond, and his mother called 911. She told the boy to stay at home while she rushed to the pond. She grabbed an anchor and rope and ran to the pond, the sheriff’s office said.
When the woman, whose name was not released, got to the water, she secured the rope to the shore, but ended up breaking through the ice as well, the authorities said.
Sheriff Detective Jordan Norton arrived after hearing the 911 call.
“Seeing the wife in the water, he began crawling across the treacherous ice, holding onto the rope, and was able to pull the mother out” and get her to shore, the sheriff’s office said.
However, he could not find any trace of Mr. Howell. Six divers with the Maine Warden Service and one State Police diver were called. Two dove in around 1:40 p.m. and found Mr. Howell’s body about 20 minutes later. It was unclear how thick the ice was at the time.
Town officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.
As manager of Carmel, a town of under 3,000 people that is 16 miles west of Bangor, Mr. Howell was responsible for oversight and management of the local government’s departments.
He was recognized in 2018 for his work to improve the town’s recycling program and was honored with the annual Leadership Award by the Maine Town, City and County Management Association in 2020, which is given to public administrators who lead innovative projects or solve difficult problems in their roles.