James Russell Jenkins died attempting to save Elijah T. Walker from drowning, Columbus, Ohio, February 7, 2013. Elijah, 5, broke through ice covering a section of the retention pond in the apartment complex where he lived and held to the edge of solid ice at a point about 50 feet from the bank. Driving through the complex, Jenkins, 30, technician, was alerted to the situation and joined those on the bank in their attempts to save Elijah. When Elijah floated face down in the open water, Jenkins stepped onto the ice and started to walk toward him, but cracking and breaking ice took him to his hands and knees. Jenkins then crawled toward Elijah but broke through the ice at a point about 10 feet from him. Using his arms and fists to make a path through the ice, Jenkins reached the boy, and, cradling him, kept his head above the surface of the 39-degree water while calling for help. Unsuccessful in his attempt to swim toward the bank, Jenkins submerged but was able to keep Elijah’s head out of the water until he too submerged. Responding divers recovered Jenkins and Elijah, and both were taken to the hospital. Jenkins could not be revived, as he had drowned. Elijah died three days later.
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