Police have identified a 19-year-old Falls Church man who died on Christmas Eve after falling through the ice at a Haymarket pond.
Police say Shahzada Zadran and other friends were on the ice at the Piedmont Club golf course off Erinblair Loop about 10 p.m. when it broke and he and a 20-year-old man went into the water.
The other man was able to get himself out and attempted to locate Zadran, Prince William County Police Master Officer Renee Carr said. When he couldn’t find him, he went to a nearby house, where police were contacted.
The 20-year-old man was later taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Fire crews pulled Zadran from the icy water and he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Fire officials say our area rarely produces ice of the quality and thickness necessary for safe outdoor recreation.
“Ice that is formed during a continuous, hard freeze, typical of northern climates, is much stronger than ice formed during temperatures that repeatedly fluctuate above and below the freezing mark,” Prince William County Fire and Rescue said in a news release. “Ice that forms where water levels change frequently, or where the water is moving, such as storm water ponds, rivers, and streams is especially dangerous because its thickness will vary with the conditions and may contain cracks.”
Areas inhabited by waterfowl, such as ducks or geese, can contain patches of very thin ice due to the birds’ swimming and feeding activities which have kept the water “open” longer than surrounding surfaces, the release said.
Moderate to severe hypothermia can occur in less than 10 minutes. The window of opportunity for a successful rescue closes rapidly beyond that time. Therefore, the primary challenge for rescuers is time, the release said.
If someone falls through the ice you should:
- Call 911 immediately.
- DO NOT go onto the ice to rescue them.
- Safely reach out to the victim by providing them something that will help them stay afloat.
Acting Fire Chief James Forgo, of the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue System, urges anyone who sees someone on ice to warn them it is not safe.
“Ice recreation is best sought on skating rinks, pavilions, or other locations specifically designed for that purpose,” Forgo said, “and not the dangerous, naturally occurring ice that forms on area waters.”