PIQUA — A 16-year-old Piqua boy drowned a small pond at the southeast edge of the city on Sunday afternoon.
The victim was identified as Zachary Vincent Paul McDaniel of Piqua. Emergency personnel were dispatched to the pond, located near the corner of Statler Road and Crommes Drive, around 4 p.m. on the report of a possible drowning.
Lt. Rick Byron of the Piqua Police Department said, “We have a father and a son who were fishing. The son indicated that he lost his bait. He took his shoes off and got in the water. After a couple minutes of being in the water, he indicated that he was in trouble and asked for help.”
McDaniel’s father swam to help but, “By the time he got there, he had gone under.”
The Piqua Fire Department Dive Team was called to the scene and began searching.
CareFlight also was called. As hope of a rescue faded, CareFlight left the scene, but not before making a low 360-degree pass over the pond in hopes of locating the victim from the air.
Other dive and rescue teams were dispatched to assist, including the West Milton Dive Team, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Dive Team, Mad River Township team, along with Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and Piqua Police.
A drone aircraft was deployed at one point to do a search from the air as dive teams employed side-scan sonar from a pair of boats.
Approximately three hours after the youth went under, the rescue boats located a probable location of McDaniel using their side-scan sonar. Divers went into the water, located McDaniel, and brought him to the surface around 7:15 p.m.
Grief counselors were at Piqua High School on Monday to assist McDaniel’s friends and classmates.
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335