Family Remembers Man Who Died Saving Boy From Icy Pond


A 5-year-old boy who was pulled from an icy pond Thursday night continues to be treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He was listed in critical condition.

The man who was the first to try and rescue him died, and his family says he was always selfless.

James Jenkins, 30, is being called a hero for his attempt to save the child.

His family said even when he was young, Jenkins would go out the way to help others.

"We're proud that he would not even think about his own life or have any amount of selfishness in it and just go in there thinking only about the child," said Nicole Jenkins, James' sister-in-law.

"I wish it went a little better, but I'm proud of him, that he would be so selfless," added his mother, Barbara Meredith.

The family wants to see changes at the pond, like less water and a barrier or signs.

The child apparently fell through thin ice that he was walking on.

Jenkins spotted the child and went into the water to try to save him, but he could not keep his head above water.

“He ran in and tried to go in and save them. To me, he’s a hero, honest. He did the best he could, even as he was drowning, he was still holding that little boy up,” said  witness Tammy Rhodes.

Police officers and a fire battalion chief went into the water when they arrived that the scene. Boats and other dive teams arrived and were able to pull Jenkins and the child out.

Jenkins was pronounced dead at Grant Medical Center.

Family member said that donations can be made at:

Diehl-Whittaker Funeral/Cremation Services
720 E Long St
Columbus, OH 43203

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February 8, 2013 - Child Remains Hospitalized After Being Pulled From Icy Pond