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Dad Dies Saving Son, 4, After Both Fall Into Frozen Pond

Maine man got boy to safety before succumbing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2024 1:30 AM CST
Dad Dies Saving Son, 4, After Both Fall Into Frozen Pond
Stock photo of a pond.   (Getty Images / InnokentiyKudesnik)

A Maine man and his 4-year-old son were out for a walk near their Carmel home around 6:30am Friday when both of them fell through the ice on frozen Etna Pond. Kevin Howell, 51, got his son to safety and told him to go get his mother, NBC News reports. Katie Howell told the boy to stay home, while she called 911 and then ran the third of a mile to the pond herself, grabbing an anchor and rope on her way, USA Today reports. She secured the rope, but ended up falling into the pond as she tried to help her husband. A responding officer managed to get her to safety, but could not find her husband; divers found his body in the afternoon.

Howell was the town manager of Carmel, and residents are mourning his loss. Another town official tells the Portland Press Herald that Howell "really believed in community. That's why he was such a perfect person for that town manager role. He always wanted to make the town better. He was a stand out guy." He says during his eight years in the role, Howell revitalized the town's annual fall festival, created a town landing, and oversaw the construction of a new playground. As for his son, Howell "was so proud of Sawyer," always showing off pictures of the boy. (More Maine stories.)

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