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11-Year-Old Boy Dies Trying To Save Friend From Icy Pond In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An 11-year-old boy has died after being pulled from an icy pond Tuesday in Queens.

First responders were called to Forest Park in Woodhaven around 4:05 p.m. where they found the child unconscious in the water. He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

As CBS2's Valerie Castro reported, the victim, identified as 11-year-old Anthony Perez McClean, grew up just minutes away from the pond that claimed his life as he tried to rescue a friend.

Anthony Perez
Anthony Perez, 11, died after falling through the ice in a pond in Forest Park in Queens. (Credit: Joseph McClean)

"It doesn't surprise me at all," neighbor Angela Vargas said. "Because he's got a good heart that little boy. Not because I know he's dead. I can't do nothing about it."

Police sources told CBS2 McClean and a 12-year-old friend were near the pond when the older friend walked onto the ice and fell through. McClean walked out to save his friend and fell through the ice himself.

"It appears that the child went out about 50 feet before the ice let go underneath him and was plunged into the water," FDNY Dep. Chief George Healy said. 

Police sources said the friend ran home for help, but by the time firefighters arrived, McClean was already submerged and unconscious.

"They had to – physically with their hands – break through the ice and chop through the ice, so that they could get to the area where they knew the child would most likely be in by the opening in the ice," said Healy. "They had to go underneath to get the child and remove him." 

Despite CPR efforts on the scene and on the way to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, McClean was pronounced dead.

"It's a terrible tragedy," said neighbor Leonardo Coraci. "He's a good kid, always said 'hello,' always respectful."

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

"There's signs around all these lakes in the city. Again, we implore you to tell your children, make sure they're aware," Healy said. "Today, the temperature was well above freezing. The ice is not safe, it's not going to support your weight, and it can have tragic consequences."

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