Eight-year-old boy and mom die after falling through ice

MOUNDRIDGE, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE (Saturday, 10:21 p.m.): Authorities in McPherson County have identified the two people who died after falling into a pond as 8-year-old Trent Claassen and his mother Polly.

The husband, and father of the boy, also fell in, but was rescued, and has been released from the hospital.

The family was visiting relatives in the Moudridge area.

Friends say the family was shoe skating when Trent fell into the pond. His parents went after him and fell in as well.
UPDATE: Two people are dead after a family falls through the ice on a pond in Mcpherson County. The mom and an eight-year-old boy didn’t survive. The dad has been released from the hospital.

The Moundridge Police Chief, Jay Kessler, says the whole family was from California, in Moundridge visiting relatives. The family was on the ice of Pack Pond when they fell through.

Fire Chief Ron Blaylock says the first call came in at about 3:45pm, and it took 50 minutes from that call, to when crews got everyone out of the water.

“They were all in the water, we could see every one of them,” said Jenni Guyer, who lives near the pond. Guyer says she knew something was wrong when she saw fire crews racing towards their neighborhood.

“Just a tragedy. You just feel so bad for the family. And the loved ones they left behind it’s just a tragedy,” said Randy Frazer, another neighbor.

Neighbors say they were shocked to hear people were out on the ice Friday.

“Definitely surprising,” Guyer said. “It has not been frozen over for very long. I want to say two or three days. It just hasn’t been cold enough,” she said.

“They said they were from California. And they don’t get weather like this. And unfortunately, no awareness was just a bad deal,” said Aaron Baylock, another neighbor.

The fire chief says when crews arrived, the dad was still above water.

“The dad, we threw a rope back to him, he was still above water and was able to grab it. With a lot of shouting and coaching we got him to hang out to the rope and pulled him out onto the ice,” Chief Baylock said.

He says the effort to save the mom took several attempts.

“We sent one guy out on ladders - tied two ladders together and sent him out with a hook. We could not reach the female. So we put two guys on a boat and were able to retrieve the mom,” Baylock said.

The chief says the little boy was the last out of the water. Two Newton responders in wetsuits went underwater, and pulled the eight-year-old out.

The police chief says the mom and boy died within 20 minutes of each other.

It has people who live in the area making sure their families are aware of the dangers.

“Scares the heck out of me. Definitely had the do not go in ice talk with every one of the kids,” Guyer said.

“We sat down and talked to our two year old and four year old and explained to them that pond was not to be gone near the pond,” said Aaron Baylock, a neighbor. “The family was from California they just didn’t quite understand. Just a tragic deal,” he said.

The fire chief says he doesn't know what the family was doing out on the ice when they fell in but says there is no absolutely safe time to play on the ice.

The ice on the pond where the family fell in appeared to be less than an inch thick.


A woman and her child who fell into an icy pond in Moundridge have died, Moundridge police say.

Police say the two were with the woman's husband when they fell through the ice. The father was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but was later released from the hospital.

The woman died at 4:58 p.m. and the boy died at 5:14 p.m.

Emergency crews were called out to Pack Park around 3:15 p.m. The park is located near Buckskin Road and Old U.S. 81.

Police say the family were on a small pond when they fell through the ice.

The Moundridge Fire Chief said the family was from out of town and visiting family members in Moundridge.