Man who fell into pond dies
By Barrett Newkirk, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer
December 20, 2008 10:37 pm
- PENDLETON - Randy Dillon had gone ice fishing dozens of times,
often on his backyard pond or at Summit Lake. But on Friday, the ice
wasn't strong enough.
Dillon, 50, died at Saint John's Medical Center in Anderson after
falling into the frigid water behind his home. Medical personnel
told his wife, Gaye, that Dillon was accidentally drowned.
"Every winter, he was ice fishing," she said. "He fished all of
his life. His dad did it. We never through this would happen."
Gaye Dillon was out shopping when the accident occurred sometime
before 5 p.m.
Neighbors David and Patricia Ballenger saw Randy Dillon in the
water. Patricia called 911 while her husband attempted to rescue
"He was a great neighbor," Patricia Ballenger said. "He was a
good dad and grandpa and a really good guy."
A member of several hunting organizations and the Meadowbrook
Golf Course, Randy Dillon had worked at Dillon Pattern Works since
high school. Along with his wife, he is survived by two sons, four
stepchildren, seven grandchildren, other relatives and his hunting
and fishing buddies.
Calling hours are scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. at Brown-Butz-Diedring
Funeral Home, followed by a time for sharing with family and
friends. Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Huntsville Cemetery.
Responders from the Pendleton Fire Department pulled Dillon out
of the pond 14 minutes after they received the call, Chief Danny
Gardner said, but it wasn't known how long he was in the water.
Gardner said he wasn't sure of the water temperature, but said
ice on the pond was about two inches thick.
Gardner and Pendleton Fire Chief Mark Farrer first attempted to
rescue Dillon while he still was conscious and bobbing on the
surface. Then after Dillon went under water and didn't come back up,
Cory Hall and Cory Moore of the Pendleton Fire Department pulled him
out of the water.
Medics gave Dillon CPR at the accident scene before taking him to
Gaye Dillon said her husband was wearing cleated ice fishing
boots, insulated overalls and a winter jacket when he fell through
The time a person can survive in freezing water varies depending
on water temperature, the person's size and the person's age,
according to Darren Isaacs, a paramedic with the Pendleton Fire
Department who was not at the scene Friday.
Colder water makes the body cool more quickly, which can help a
person survive longer, and in some documented cases people have been
known to survive for up to three hours in extremely cold water,