Two sets of parents are thanking a Good Samaritan in Illinois who saved two boys who fell through thin ice.
Best friends Anthony Skopick and Cruz Genet were walking through the Stone Creek subdivision in Frankfurt on Sunday night when they spotted ducks in the water of a nearby pond, WFLD reported.
“I wanted to see one close up,” one of the boys told a reporter. As the boys neared the water to get a close-up look of the ducks, Anthony fell through the ice into neck-deep water.
When Cruz saw what happened, he didn’t hesitate. “You had a choice,” Anthony said to his friend during the interview, clearly proud of his actions. Instead of panicking or running off for help, Cruz courageously tried to help his friend. But then he fell in again during the rescue attempt.
“So, I got out, and luckily the ice didn’t break,” he said. “So, I tried again to get him out.”
This time, however, he wasn’t able to get out.
Anthony said he feared for the worse during the ordeal. The boys were in the water for more than five minutes, one of their mothers told WFLD.
“I actually started praying at one point, in the water,” he said.
It wasn’t long before they received an answer to that prayer. Neighbor John Lavin happened to be driving to dinner when he spotted “a lot of commotion” in the pond, he said.
Without thinking, Lavin pulled over, grabbing a buoy and rope to help them get out.”
The boy’s temperatures had dropped up to 10 degrees by the time they got to the hospital, but they are now doing fine.
The next day, the trio reunited at Anthony’s 11th birthday party.
“Obviously, John’s a true hero,” Anthony’s father, John Skopick, said. “So, we’re blessed that he was there and happened to be driving by at the time.”
Lavin denied that he’s a hero.
“No, just right place, right time,” he said. “Just glad I was able to help.”