A hero teenager has died after trying to rescue two female friends who got into trouble on an icy lake.
Dyllan Whittenberg died just after his 14th birthday and two days after he tried to save two girls who had become trapped when they fell through the ice into freezing water.
Dyllan’s family paid tribute to the youngster who has been hailed a hero for his selfless actions that saw him and another boy attempt a rescue.
The two girls and other boy made it out after people used hoses and ropes to pull them free at Crystal Lake, Douglas Country, Colorado, on November 22.
A specialist dive team recovered Dyllan who spent the next day, his 14th birthday, in hospital before he passed away on Thanksgiving Day, the Daily Mirror reports.
Dyllan aunt Yvonne Wenzel said: “From my understanding, Dyllan saw there was an issue and he just took off running, from what everybody said and dove in the water.”
His family and many of his classmates at Ranch View Middle School attended a vigil on Friday evening and his mum and dad released balloons in memory of their son, reports CBS.
His dad said: “He touched everybody. That kid was amazing.”
First responders at the scene said the lake was deceptively deep starting shallow before plummeting to around seven or eight feet in depth.
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A friend of Dyllan’s, McKayla Weadick, said: “He was one of the most respectful people; hardworking, determined. He got a job at 13.”
This year has been a record year for drownings in the state of Colorado.
The grim tally was compiled by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the previous record of 34 in 2020 was broken by September this year.
The majority of the recreation-related deaths this year have taken place on lakes, rivers and reservoirs, while two of the victims were camping when they were swept away by a flash flood.
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