The weather has been a nuisance to many motorists, but the recent cold spell also has hidden dangers that are not so obvious.
Ponds and creeks that appear to be frozen turn treacherous for unsuspecting animals and children. A recent incident involves a Tulsa boy who broke through the ice of a frozen pond. Witnesses say the six year old had been playing with his 12 year old brother on the frozen pond.
He was under the ice for about 30 minutes before emergency crews were able to pull him out of the water. Sadly, the young boy died.
A similar incident played out in Edmond involving a girl who became trapped chest deep in mud near a pond area after sledding down a nearby hill. The girl survived, but not before being rescued by firefighters.
“They told us it was a pond to the east when you enter the addition,” Edmond Fire Department Captain Euel Davis said.
However, the location of the accident turned out to be a hidden area down a steep slope and behind tall trees.
“It’s very dangerous because it’s hard to get to, and it’s also difficult to see anybody there. Luckily one of her friends was with her and made the call to a parent who called 911,” Davis said. “We got around here and we could see her, and by that time her mom had reached the scene.”
The girl’s mother could not reach her daughter, because the mud was so thick.
“This is part of what they consider a retention area. So it’s not really maintained or anything,” Davis said. “They slid down out there, and they stepped off their sleds, and she just sank.”
The girl was buried in mud up to her chest, and like quick sand became more stuck each time she moved.
“Sliding down the hill with all the snow covering everything you really cant tell what this area is,” Davis said. ” It’s kind of a hidden danger.”
It took four firefighters to rescue the girl. Frostbite can set in as early as 15 minutes, and crews got to her just in time.
“We came across and extended our ladder out, set out rope systems and hooked into her. Whenever we made contact she was stating to us she couldn’t feel her legs,” Davis said. “We started talking to her and reassuring her of what we were going to do.”
Within a matter of minutes the girl was free and taken to the hospital. She was not injured, but her story is another reminder of no matter what the surface looks like, you never know what is beneath it.
“Educate your kid, and stay there with them,” Davis said.
This Saturday, December 14 the Edmond Fire Department is holding a children’s safety village with pictures with Santa. There will also be a Santa’s workshop where kids can build a toy. Christmas lights will also be on display. The event is free, but the department is collecting non perishable food items.