The city of Sun Prairie in Wisconsin has been left in a state of shock after two young brothers, 6-year-old Antwon Amos Jr., and 8-year-old Legend Sims, lost their lives after falling through the ice on a retention pond behind their apartment.
The incident occurred after the school bus dropped them off on a Friday afternoon in Sun Prairie. Despite Legend’s attempt to rescue his younger brother, both boys succumbed to the icy waters, as reported by authorities and the Wisconsin State Journal.
Emergency responders, including police and firefighters, swiftly arrived at the scene at approximately 3:20 p.m. to rescue the two brothers from the icy waters.
Despite being rushed to the hospital in critical condition, 8-year-old Legend was pronounced dead on Saturday, and his 6-year-old brother Antwon passed away on Monday, according to police statements.
“Their sudden and tragic departure has left a profound void in the lives of their family, friends, and community,” the boy’s mother, Kiana Sims, said.
She added that their vibrant personalities which are lightened by their bright smiles, infectious laughter, and boundless energy left a positive impact on those around them, according to the New York Post.
Described as beloved sons, brothers, friends, and classmates, the boys were part of the BMC Youth Baseball program, which noted on Facebook that Legend courageously attempted to rescue his younger brother.
Despite being students at Royal Oaks Elementary School, they were dropped off at a corner not directly in front of the retention pond, according to a Sun Prairie School District spokesperson, as the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
The school’s policy stipulates that students in the same grades as the two brothers do not require an adult to meet them upon bus arrival; it is the responsibility of parents or caregivers to supervise them after the drop-off. The report did not clarify whether any adult was present to receive the brothers that day.
In response to the tragic incident, there is an advocacy effort led by Sabrina Madison, founder of the Progress Center for Black Women, to install barriers in front of the pond and other bodies of water in the area to prevent similar tragedies.