Boy on life support after falling through pond ice

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 24, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

A 14-year-old boy is in critical condition in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital after falling through the ice of a retention pond at the end of Obici Boulevard Friday afternoon.

Divers pulled Delvin Lesselle Jones, who lives in the Colander Bishop Apartments, 925 Brook Ave., from the 29-degree waters around 1:20 p.m. Friday. At presstime Friday afternoon, he remained on life support.

Email newsletter signup

The Forest Glen Middle School student and five friends were sledding down a nearby ravine and playing on the ice-covered pond behind the apartment complex when they heard the ice begin to crack around noon, said Officer Michael E. Simpkins, spokesman for the Suffolk Police Department. Jones was in the water for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

There have been reports of children surviving incidents that have had them underwater in cold temperatures for up to 11/4 hour, Simpkins said.

&uot;He may come out of this fine,&uot; Simpkins said. &uot;Miracles happen.&uot;

Jones fell through the ice into approximately seven feet of water, about 45 feet from the shoreline, he said.

One of the other youngsters partially fell into the pond while trying to help Jones but was able to pull himself out, said Jerome Wilson, 15, one of the teen-agers playing with Jones. The teens ran back to the apartments and called authorities.

At least two dozen police officers, firefighters and rescue workers responded to the call that came into headquarters at 1:18 p.m., said Capt. Jim Judkins, spokesman for the Suffolk Fire Department. Approximately 10 emergency workers jumped into water in their uniforms or street clothes as soon as they arrived at the scene, Judkins said. They were taken to Obici Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Delvin’s two sisters, Kenay, 12, and Delta, 6, were teary, as they and dozens of

friends and neighbors stood around the apartment complex waiting for news.

&uot;He’s a nice boy, … always respectful,&uot; said neighbor, Keesha Jones, 24. &uot;He loves to play. The boys have had a good time playing in the snow this week.&uot;