Crime & Courts

Kymello McLane, 8, who drowned in icy Hurley Park pond, was ‘all boy,’ active

Paper airplanes were Kymello McLane’s specialty.

The 8-year-old boy liked working with his hands. He was athletic. He was kind. He was caring.

“He was definitely all boy,” said Overton Elementary School Principal Betty Tunks. “He was active and busy.”

That’s how nearly two dozen classmates and teachers on Monday remembered Kymello, a second-grader who police say drowned after falling into an icy pond on Sunday.

At 2:39 p.m., Salisbury police received a report of a drowning at Hurley Park on Lake Drive, according to a department news release.

After several minutes unsuccessfully searching for the victim, emergency crews found the boy in the pond within 18 minutes of their dispatch, the release states. Kymello was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than two hours later.

Kymello joined two other boys, both 11-years-old, at the pond, where they were playing when Kymello walked onto the ice, authorities said. The ice broke under him and he fell in.

The other two boys were unable to reach him with sticks, police said. They called 911.

“They were trying to see if they would go down if it would hold their weight,” a neighbor told WBTV, the Observer’s news partner. “I guess they thought it would because the rocks are still there, but it’s not going to hold a person’s weight.”

The neighbor told WBTV she was alerted by sirens that something was going at the pond across the street from her house. “I could see the guy on the boat with a pole trying to find...someone.”

On Monday, students at Overton Elementary School remembered their classmate with about 20 handmade condolence cards they delivered to his mother, said Tunks, the principal. Others were preparing to create banners in his memory.

The Rowan-Salisbury School District sent its crisis team to counsel students and teachers who wanted to talk about the loss, she said.

Though he was young, Tunks said Kymello‘s teacher and classmates described him as caring, giving and willing to help anyone.

He played with his friends on a football team they dubbed the “49ers.”

Students told Tunks that Kymello had “a good, good heart,” she said. “He was always happy. He didn’t know a stranger.”

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