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Teenager dies, two injured after falling through icy pond in Parker

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PARKER, Colo. -- One teenager died and two others were injured after falling through ice on a pond late Thursday afternoon, Parker Mayor Mike Waid said.

One teenager is in critical condition at Children's Hospital and the third was treated and released from Parker Adventist. The three were students at Legend High School.

The Douglas County Coroner's Office identified the deceased teen as 16-year-old Patric Lantz and said he passed away at a local area hospital after he was located by the South Metro Fire Rescue Dive Team.

In a letter to Legend High School families, Principal Jason Jacob provided an update on the teens' conditions and identified them:

This is a difficult time for our Legend family and I want to keep you updated with the latest information regarding yesterday’s tragic ice rescue. As was previously shared, three Legend sophomores accidentally fell through the ice of a retaining pond near Tallman Drive and Hilltop Road in Parker.

It is with incredible sadness that I share the news that Patric Lantz has passed away. Max Gantnier was airlifted and remains in the hospital, and Cole Robinson has been released from the hospital and is at home with his family.

I have been in touch with all three families to let them know that the entire Legend community is here to support them. I am also humbled by the outpouring of support shown by all of those who live in Parker and all of Douglas County.

The teens fell through the ice about 4:26 p.m. on Thursday in the 11700 block of Meadowood Lane near Iron Horse Elementary School in the Hidden River subdivision of Parker. Parker police arrived first and rescued one of the teens.

"When [an officer] got on scene he saw the juvenile struggling in the water. Broke a tree branch off and used the tree branch to help pull the juvenile to the edge," Lt. Chris Peters said.

Shortly after, South Metro Fire Rescue arrived and pulled a second teen to safety.

A dive team had to go into the pond to rescue the third teen, who was in the water for more than 35 minutes.

"I know for our people even in dive rescue suits it was really cold," said Becky O'Guin with South Metro Fire Rescue.

It's unclear why the teens stepped on the ice. The pond is plastered with "Stay off the ice" signs.

In a statement, the Douglas County School District said: "We are incredibly sad to learn of the passing of one of our students involved in Thursday's ice rescue in Parker. The student attended Legend High School, along with the two other boys involved in the rescue. The DCSD family is keeping these boys and their families in our thoughts. We recognize this will be a very difficult time for our students, staff and families. We will have our district crisis team at Legend High School tomorrow beginning at 8 a.m. for anyone who may need support."

The full text of Principal Jacobs' letter to Legend High School families reads as follows:

Dear Legend Families,

This is a difficult time for our Legend family and I want to keep you updated with the latest information regarding yesterday’s tragic ice rescue. As was previously shared, three Legend sophomores accidentally fell through the ice of a retaining pond near Tallman Drive and Hilltop Road in Parker.

It is with incredible sadness that I share the news that Patric Lantz has passed away. Max Gantnier was airlifted and remains in the hospital, and Cole Robinson has been released from the hospital and is at home with his family.

I have been in touch with all three families to let them know that the entire Legend community is here to support them. I am also humbled by the outpouring of support shown by all of those who live in Parker and all of Douglas County.

Legend is here for all of our students, staff and families. The District Crisis Team is available to support students, staff and parents at both Legend High School and Iron Horse Elementary School until 3:00 p.m. today (Friday) and during the school day on Tuesday.

As a reminder, we do not have school on Monday due to the observance of the Martin Luther King holiday. If you need support over the long weekend, you may call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 (TALK) or visit coloradocrisisservices.org.

I also want to provide you with some helpful information as you answer the questions your child may have when dealing with this tragedy.

First, it is important to acknowledge that everyone responds to loss in a personal way as each new loss surfaces feelings from prior experiences. During this period of sadness, you may notice a variety of reactions from your child. You may find your child unusually talkative or quiet. Your child may ask a lot of questions, be anxious, or may want to cling to you more than usual. These are all signals of the need for a little extra support. You may also notice no reaction from your child. Children can experience a wide range of feelings and behaviors that are normal when dealing with this kind of tragedy.

Finally, I often talk about how Legend is a family. This is evident every day in our hallways and classrooms. This is especially true on a day like today. Please take care of one another and know that all of us at Legend are here to support you.

Sincerely,

Jason Jacob
Principal
Legend High School

Friday is a teacher inservice day at the school and there are no classes. School resumes Tuesday after Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Several businesses in Parker are putting together a fund to help the victims and their families.