Boy falls through ice into Bartlett pond

By Jason Miles - bio | email

BARTLETT, TN (WMC-TV) - A football marked the spot on the partially frozen pond where Bartlett Police say a group of children played early Thursday afternoon before one of them fell through the ice.

"I was instantly just thinking maybe we had a gas leak or something," recalled neighbor Nancy Hummel.  "Because people were just running out of their homes," she added.

Word travels fast in the Wolf Hollow subdivision.  It took no time for friends of the boy's family to find out about what happened in the woods behind one of the homes.

"The mother of the child that fell into the water," said Hummel.  "She watches my daughter, so I immediately called the home to see if there was anything I could do."

10 year-old Reese Wagner is a 5th grader at Bon-Lin Elementary School in Bartlett.  Action News 5 got his photo from a yearbook.

Apparently, Wagner was unresponsive when rescuers pulled him from 8 to 10 feet of icy water after using a boat to get to where he was.

"The one young man did fall through the ice and for how long he was there before we arrived hasn't been determined," Lt. Rory Mack with Bartlett Police told us on the scene.

A firefighter responding to the scene actually fell into the water himself and had to be taken to the hospital as a precaution.  Friends heard the boys were trying to gauge the thickness of the ice when Wagner fell in.

"One of the boys tried to save him but couldn't save him," said friend Emily Hummel.

"I'm really sad and scared cause my brother plays with Reese all the time and he's like a little brother to me," said friend Carlye Cicinelli.

Bartlett Police consider the accident a warning about how deceptive a frozen pond, or any body of water can be, during a deep freeze.

Reese Wagner was in critical condition at LeBonheur at last check.  The family has since requested that his condition not be released to the media.

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