10-Year-Old Brother Dies After Saving Younger Sister From Drowning in Frozen Pond

Benjamin Luckett, 10, died while saving his sister, Abigail Luckett, 6, from frozen pond.

Benjamin Luckett was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital where he later died, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said.

A 10-year-old Tennessee boy has died after risking his own life to save his 6-year-old sister who fell into a frozen pond behind the family home, according to a report. Benjamin Luckett was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, where he later died, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said.

The tragedy happened on Sunday around 11 a.m. when the Millington Fire Department and SCSO Fire were called to a home in the 8000 block of Brunswick Road around, Fox13 Memphis reported

Firefighters wearing dry suits launched an inflatable boat and searched the freezing water, but they were unable to save the boy in time, WREG/News3 reported.

“The victim will go into the water and their body is completely assaulted by what’s happening. It’s so cold and breathing is next to impossible,” Brent Perkins of the Shelby County Fire Department said of the conditions in the water. He told the news station that their “hearts go out to the family.”

He added: “The bodies of water down here normally don't freeze with enough thickness to support a person on it and it can be very dangerous.” 

The family pastor Pastor Stacey Stilgenbauer told Fox 8 News that Benjamin, Abigail, and another brother were playing near a pond on their property when Abigail fell through the ice. She said that Benjamin jumped into the icy waters, without hesitation, while the other brother ran to get their father. 

“[Firefighters] said the best they could tell, he was trying to keep her above water. So, it’s an incredible sacrifice that [Benjamin] was willing to make to save his little sister,” Stilgenbauer said.

She said the children’s father, Robert Luckett, was able to get Abigail out of the water, but couldn’t get to Benjamin. 

Abigail has since been taken off a ventilator and was moved from the intensive care unit into a regular hospital room, the pastor said. The pastor wrote on Facebook that Abigail is getting assistance walking and that doctors are watching her closely for pneumonia. She will also remain on a strong antibiotic due to the pond water in her lungs could cause an infection, People reported. 

The church is helping raise money for the family’s funeral and medical expenses. A GoFundMe page has been set up that has raised nearly $30,000, surpassing their $25,000 goal. 

After the accident, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office put out a warning to be careful around frozen ponds, pools, and lakes because the ice is not thick enough to support body weight, Fox 8 reported.