After falling through thin ice while crossing a pond with his four-year-old kid, a well-liked local politician in Maine passed away. He managed to get the boy out of the freezing water, and the child even managed to get to his mother for help, but the man was already lost by the time responders arrived. The passing of the official is being mourned by the community, who hail him as a real hero.
Kevin Howell, a 51-year-old resident of Carmel, and his young son went for an early morning stroll. Tragically, when trying to cross Etna Pond, they broke through the ice, according to a Facebook post from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office on January 26. After lifting his son back onto the crumbling surface, Howell told the child to go back home for help.
The four-year-old made the roughly one-third-mile trek back to his mother, who called 911 and went to the pond in an attempt to stage her own rescue. She anchored a rope to the shore in an attempt to reach her husband, but she, too, became stranded after falling through the shaky ice. Detective Jordan Norton of the Penobscot Sheriff’s Office was the first responder; he crawled along the rope to reach the victim as she struggled in the frigid water. He was able to rescue her from the ocean and bring her back to dry land. By this time, Mr. Howell had vanished from sight.
Many people helped try to save Mr. Howell’s life, including members of the Maine Warden Service, the Carmel Fire Department, the Maine State Police, and the Northern Light EMS. After a search lasting about 20 minutes, divers equipped for ice diving discovered his body parts.
For nearly eight years, Howell was the town manager of Carmel. The civil worker and his wife relocated to the 2,870 person settlement in 2014. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to restore the area, reviving its annual fall festival, Carmel Days, and constructing a town landing and a new playground. Many in the area are grieving the death of Howell, who they say worked tirelessly to better his hometown and who was respected for the seriousness with which he approached his job.