CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) – One person is dead and another is injured after two people fell through ice covering a pond near Charleston.
The Coles-Moultrie County Public Safety Answering Point received a 911 call about two occupants falling through the ice near 13961 E. County Road 620 N., one mile southwest of Charleston just before 8:00 a.m. this morning.
Minutes later, first responders arrived and found two people under the ice. Charleston Fire, Lincoln Fire Dive Team and Lincoln Fire entered the water and rescued both victims. They were transported to Sarah Bush Medical Center for immediate care.
The accident occurred after one victim entered the ice-covered pond to rescue three dogs that were stranded on the ice. That victim fell through the ice. A family member entered the pond to rescue the victim. The second person also fell through the ice. All three dogs were also pulled from the water.
A family member, Amanda Beals, told WCIA that the victims involved were 10-year-old Ma’Lyiah White and 31-year-old Carlos Serafin. Serafin went in to rescue the 10-year-old girl after she fell through the ice first. He died trying to save her life. Ma’Lyiah remains in critical condition after being transferred to a Peoria area hospital where she is being treated for her injuries. One of the three dogs also died.
The family says that Carlos died a hero trying to save Ma’Lyiah’s life. They want all to know that Carlos was a great human being and a family man, and the world will not be the same without him.
On Sunday morning, the family released a statement saying that Ma’Lyiah has no brain activity and is suffering from seizures. She is undergoing treatment with the hopes to help her brain recuperate.
The family has set up a go-fund-me that you can donate to. Visit that by clicking here.