Southeastern PA

Couple rescue 4 children from frozen pond in North Coventry

'We heard the screams, and the kids were in the water,' says good Samaritan

Couple rescue 4 children from frozen pond

NORTH COVENTRY TWP., Pa. - A couple heroically rescued a group of children who fell through an icy pond in Chester County on Saturday.

"It was traumatic," said Neil Weiler.

Weiler, along with his son, friend and girlfriend, Helen Bommarito, were walking around Kenilworth Park in North Coventry Township around 4 p.m., gearing up to leave when they noticed four unsupervised children walking on the iced-over pond.

"I just did not feel comfortable at all leaving… no one else was around," said Bommarito. "We were just lingering, waiting."

Moments later, the ice cracked.

"We heard the screams, and the kids were in the water, right out in the middle of the pond," said Weiler, who rushed to their aide.

Charging into the 8-foot deep pond, Weiler broke through the ice and grabbed each child, first a young boy.

"He had a real look of panic on his face," said Weiler. "The ice was breaking off as he was grabbing onto it, so he was definitely going under."

One by one, Weiler took each child to Bommarito, who was standing with a foot in the water and pulled each child to land.

"I just had to get them out," Bommarito told 69 News. "Very grateful that we were there. I don't know what would have happened."

Police said the kids - ages 6, 8, 11 and 14 - are fortunately all okay.

Now, Weiler and Bommarito are urging parents to keep careful watch of their children.

"That really is the point… watch the kids," said Weiler. "And just not [on] the ice, but in life."

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