Man dies after falling through ice on NJ reservoir, mayor says
WEST MILFORD — A third person has died after falling through thin ice on a New Jersey body of water within the same week.
West Milford Mayor Michele Dale said she was given the update by a close family friend of the man who fell into Monksville Reservoir, inside Long Pond Ironworks State Park on Friday afternoon.
Dale told New Jersey 101.5 that the man apparently had been ice fishing at a boat ramp off Beech Road.
Dale did not reveal the man's identity at the request of his family, but said he was a West Milford resident.
Two Ringwood police officers entered the icy water to try and rescue the man. They were soon joined by West Milford police officer Kevin Canova in a specialized wet suit who brought both fellow officers and the ice fisherman out, according to Dale.
The man was taken to Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains.
Two teenage boys died after being pulled from separate icy ponds late Wednesday afternoon and evening in Middlesex County.
In East Brunswick, 13-year-old Yousef Khela was pulled from a pond on the grounds of the township municipal complex, while David Tillberg was pulled from Carteret Pond in Carteret Park after going under the ice, there.
Khela was laid to rest Friday, after services at Saint Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in East Brunswick.
Memorial services for Tillberg, who was an 8th grader at Carteret Middle School, are set for Monday, Jan. 27 at Chubenko Funeral Home in the Port Reading section of Woodbridge, according to the GoFundMe campaign organized by Tillberg's aunt.
Following their deaths, Gov. Phil Murphy called the collective situation "an awful tragedy" and noted the "extraordinarily heroic efforts" by first responders in both communities.
He also cautioned others from putting themselves in harm's way, tweeting "Please stay off and away from frozen lakes and ponds. No ice is safe ice."
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