MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A rescue diver sliding across the broken Chicago River ice captured the chilling and terrifying ordeal. That’s where three friends who were out for a Sunday night had a simple cellphone mishap turn deadly.
“Two male victims were removed from the water and one female is still unaccounted for,” Chicago Fire spokeswoman Linda Parsons said.
The three friends were along the river walk just west of Lake Shore Drive walking along the Chicago River. That’s when the 26-year-old man from St. Paul accidently dropped his cellphone over the railing and onto the ice just a few feet below.
When he climbed over a fence and onto the frozen river, the ice broke. Witnesses say they heard one of the men yelling for help.
A witness named Luis said he asked if there was anybody else in the water. Luis replied, “He said a friend was holding onto him and girlfriend fell into the water. And she was under the water, they couldn’t find her.”
Using special ice rescue boats and divers attached to ropes, firefighters reached the two men, who were quickly rushed to Northwestern Memorial hospital.
The 26-year-old later died from his injuries at 3:14 a.m. Monday morning.
Police are still searching for the missing woman Monday night, which they say it is now considered a recovery effort.
A memorial fund has been set up for St. Paul man, but WCCO is not releasing his name at this time because Chicago Police are still in the process of notifying his family.