Child Dies After Falling Through Ice in Sediment Pond

Firetruck close up
UPDATED A 10-year-old child, identified by police as D’Angelo Jayvon McMullen, has died after falling through the ice on a sediment pond in Gaithersburg, according to Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS).

Late in the afternoon of Jan. 13, Montgomery County fire rescue units were called to a sediment pond off Diamondback Drive in Gaithersburg where they pulled three children out of the cold and murky water.

According to MCFRS spokesperson Beth Anne Nesselt, a construction worker initially called 911 to report seeing the three children fall thru the ice. Nesselt said the worker remained focused and kept a visual on the location where the kids had fallen through the ice and was able to direct responders to the location where the children were last seen. According to Nesselt, rescuers quickly engaged in the dramatic rescue and were able to save two of the children within five minutes.

The two children were transported to a hospital for check-ups and evaluation, and remain hospitalized in stable condition, according to Graham.

It took rescue units nearly 30 minutes to locate the third child in the murky water, Nesselt said. Rescuers began aggressive life-saving efforts, which were continued at the hospital where the child later died, she said.

In this region, Nesselt said ice formed on ponds or other bodies of water should never be considered safe. Additionally, pet owners should keep their dogs on leashes around ponds or bodies of water.

“Ice is never safe and you can’t judge the strength of ice simply by appearance, thickness, temperature or whether the ice if covered by snow,” Nesselt said. “Strength is based on all these factors, plus the depth of the water beneath the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry, currents and local climatic conditions. Ice seldom freezes uniformly and, again, in this region should never be considered safe. We’ve had several ‘warm’ winters and it’s important that parents and caretakers take a minute to educate children on the dangers of ice.”

“Our hearts go out to the child’s family and friends,” Nesselt said.




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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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