A 14-year-old boy who died after being pulled from an icy Colorado lake was trying to save three friends who plunged through thin ice, his friends and family said.
“This beautiful young man who was willing to put his life at risk for the sake of others, the betterment of others,” Phillip Holland, pastor of Valley View Christian Church, said at a vigil Friday, Nov. 25, for Dyllan Whittenburg, KDVR reported.
“He gave himself, not that he would live, but that they would live,” Holland said, according to the outlet.
Dyllan and three other teens fell through thin ice at Crystal Lake Park in Roxborough Park at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, McClatchy News reported.
Alerted by their screams, neighbors rushed to the rescue with extension cords, hoses and ropes, West Metro Fire Rescue reported.
Three of the teens were pulled from the frigid lake but a dive team had to rescue Dyllan.
He was placed on life support and turned 14 on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Dyllan died the next day, KCNC reported.
“He lit up a room literally when he’d walk through the room,” Lynnete Sherock said at the vigil, held beside the lake, KUSA reported.
Sherock, Dyllan’s aunt, told KDVR he gave “the best hugs ever” and was “always, always, always happy.”
“He helped me through so much. Thick and thin,” friend McKayla Weadick said, KCNC reported. “He was one of the most respectful people; hardworking, determined.”
Friends and family said at the vigil that Dyllan went under while trying to help his friends from the icy water, news outlets reported.
Roxborough Park is a community of 9,000 people about 25 miles south of Denver.