Dyllan Whittenburg: HERO teen trapped in icy lake trying to save 3 children dies day after 14th birthday
DOUGLAS COUNTY, COLORADO: A teenager died in Colorado while trying to help in the rescue of two girls and a boy who were stuck in an icy lake. Hero Dyllan Whittenburg, 14, died in the catastrophe, while the other children lived.
In an interview with the local media on Tuesday, Dyllan Whittenburg's family said that he drowned while attempting to save three other youngsters from Crystal Lake's frigid waters. The three other children were eventually dragged ashore with the aid of neighbors, but Dylan had to be recovered by a diving team. The teenager died on Thursday afternoon, November 24, one day after his 14th birthday, WDSU reports.
UPDATE: child rescued from water by our dive team is a young teenager, he was taken to a local hospital. The two girls and another boy that fell through the ice are ok. They were closer to the shore and pulled out by neighbors who used hoses, extension cords and ropes. pic.twitter.com/OrXV9v9ojd— WestMetroFire (@WestMetroFire) November 22, 2022
Speaking to CBS, Whittenburg's aunt Yvonne Wenzel said, "From our understanding, Dyllan saw there was an issue, and he just took off running from what everybody said and dove in the water." She added, "Unfortunately Dyllan, he went under and nobody could find him fast enough to get him." According to West Metro Fire Rescue, neighbors pulled Dyllan's friends—two girls and a boy—to shore using hoses, extension cords, and ropes. Dyllan was eventually rescued from the water and sent to a nearby hospital by a dive team. He died a day after his 14th birthday, two days after spending the day in a hospital bed. The death is still under investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
The Roxborough neighborhood held a candlelight vigil at Crystal Lake on Thursday to honor Dyllan, who left behind three younger siblings.
A friend named McKayla Weadick said, "He helped me through so much. Thick and thin. We were just like were always together. We have so many memories together," New York Post reported. Dyllan's parents watched as balloons were launched in his honor while they sat by the lake's beach. His father said, "He touched everybody. That kid was amazing." The boy's aunt expressed her desire for her nephew to be regarded as a hero. She told WDSU, "It's so overwhelming. I cannot believe the amount of love that was shown here for my nephew tonight, it was just unreal."
A parent of a child who went to the same school as Dyllan shared prayers in a message posted on Facebook. The post mentions how their child met the hero teen. "We asked Bryson if he knew Dyllan and he said he didn’t recognize his name, then once he saw his picture he said yes I met him one time at football practice when Brysons team was scrimmaging against the 8th grade team Dyllan played on. Bryson said his coach was riding him pretty hard that day about mistakes and Dyllan came up to him and told him he was doing great and to keep his head up." It continued, "When Bryson told us this both Shannon and I were in awe of this kid who’s only interaction with our son was a moment of unselfish kindness and encouragement. I hope this message reaches his family and friends. He was not only heroic at the end of his young life, but was a good person to those he came into contact with in his daily life. Rest in Peace thank you for being a special young man ."