10-year-old boy dies trying to save 6-year-old sister when they fell through ice

The 6-year-old girl is on a ventilator and the family is asking for prayers.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A warning to stay off icy lakes and ponds. It is not safe.

A north Shelby County family is asking for your prayers after two of their children fell through an icy pond near their house Sunday. 10-year-old Benjamin Luckett died. His 6-year-old sister Abigail is recovering at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

“The family is a very sweet family, loving family,” said Dr. Stacy Stilgenbauer, the family’s pastor.

Stilgenbauer said 10-year-old Benjamin died trying to save his 6-year-old sister. 

“The girl fell in. The 10-year-old brother jumped in. There was another brother there who ran back to the house,” said Stilgenbauer.

“Obviously, it’s so tragic and our hearts go out to that family,” said Brent Perkins, Shelby County Fire Spokesperson.

Perkins said firefighters answered the call Sunday on Brunswick Road near Millington. Perkins said this is a sobering reminder how dangerous stepping on thin ice can be.

“If you find yourself near a body of water, a lot of people are inclined to put their foot on it give it a test and see if its slippery – and give it a slide and have a little fun. All a sudden, in a moment it has turned into a life-threatening situation. Very dangerous. Just stay away from it all,” said Perkins.

In our area, it’s not very often ponds and lakes freeze. For example, pictures from Garner Lake in Lakeland show coves are freezing up, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to walk on. Experts say walking on ice is not safe unless it is at least four inches thick. It can take weeks of frigid weather for that to occur, which rarely occurs in the Mid-South. 

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As for the Luckett family, Local 24 News was told Abigail remains on a ventilator.

“I think she is starting to improve today, so the biggest thing would be prayer for her, for her recovery, and then of course prayer for the family for the loss of Benjamin,” said Stilgenbauer.

Stilgenbauer, is the pastor of Leawood East Baptist church where the family attends. He said the family doesn’t have the money to pay for Benjamin’s funeral expenses, and they are collecting donations for the burial on the church’s website, if anyone wants to help.  

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