Young brothers drown after falling through ice on private pond

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ST. CLAIR, Mo. – Authorities had a warning about our back-and-forth weather after two young brothers drowned in a shallow private pond over the weekend.

There’s still snow on the ground along Walls Ford Road just outside of St. Clair, with temperatures reaching the 60s in Monday.

It looks like winter and feels like early spring at the same time. Sadly, two brothers, ages 7 and 8, drowned in a pond near their home.

They were riding their bikes, got onto the frozen pond, and fell through the thin ice just before noon on Sunday, authorities said.

Their mother saw one of their bike helmets in the water and found one of the boys, a neighbor said. A dive team found his brother. Both were pronounced dead at a hospital just after 5 p.m., according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“We’ve had cold weather then we get warm weather. During the day it warms up. The ice thaws. At night it gets below freezing; it refreezes,” said Chief Craig Sullivan, St. Clair Fire Protection District. “Once it goes through that process, the ice becomes weaker. I can’t stress enough…you just need to stay away from the ice.”

Ice on ponds or lakes must be at least four inches thick to be considered safe, he said.

A friend who had just visited these grieving parents said the family had asked for privacy. Neighbors were asking for prayers for the family. They just loved these boys.

One neighbor said she’d bought Christmas gifts for them, along with their older brother and sister, and had planned to deliver them on Christmas Eve.

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