January 31, 2016 Parker, Co. On January 14, 2016 A tragedy occurred in a pond located in Parker where heroic efforts by an Officer saved one teenager.The incident was reported around 4:26 P.M. by residents that kids had fallen through the ice on the pond near Tallman Drive and Hilltop Road. Police Officer Trey Biles arrived within 2 and a half minutes of the incident being conveyed to him by the dispatcher.
The Biles saw one teen hanging on a chunk of ice and did all he could knowing that more help was coming but that the teen needed help immediately. He had no water rescue training or rescue equipment so he used what was available. The Officer grabbed a tree branch and went on the ice himself.
The teen named Cole Robinson was ‘struggling but conscious’ and was able to grab onto the 15 foot tree branch that was being extended by Officer Biles who was now risking his own life on the freezing water and fragile ice. Robinson was pulled to safety by the Officer and during the struggle to get him to safety Biles recalled “I kept asking Cole where everyone was and he kept saying ‘they’re gone, they’ve been in the water too long’,”
The officer didn’t give up though. He attempted to find the other two teens once Cole was out of the water. He went back out on the ice and tried to break it apart searching for the boys and fell through it himself as did as did a firefighter.
Rescue crews arrived en masse to assist and try to save the other two teens tragically they were too late to save them. The trio all Legend High School students were sent to Hospitals as quickly as possible.
Cole Robinson who had been saved that fateful day by Officer Biles was treated and released the same day.
Max Gantnier was airlifted to a Childrens hospital after being sent to a local area hospital. He had been in the water 35 minutes like the other boys. He passed away 11 days later.
Patric Lantz was in the water for 35 minutes or more and did not survive the ordeal.
The High School and all of Parker itself were shaken by the tragic loss. The High School provided counseling for the student body.A notice was sent home to the school (included at the end of this article)
People in the community have left flowers as a memorial.
Two weeks later an Official press conference was given by the Police Department when they released the Body Camera footage of Officer Biles rescue of Cole.
The officer himself was still visibly shaken stating “If I had seen another kid in the water, I know I would have jumped in, I believe that I did everything I could have but you’ll always look back and wish you could have done more,” he said.
“Your heart is broken for not being able to help the other two,” Biles said. He doesn’t consider himself a hero, but believes and stated Cole is. “I truly believe Cole is a hero for staying alive,” he said.
Here is the body camera video of Officer Biles rushing to save Cole.
The elephant in the room is that while Officer Biles is being lauded as a hero, he is clearly not considering himself one. It is not that he was just doing his job either.
While the community, family, school all mourn the grievous loss of life Officer Biles will always carry the burden of not being there sooner to have saved the other two boys.
He may always wonder in his mind if he could have done something different. If he should have planned his day different, his patrol routs differently or some other impossible scenario that would have been the difference between their lives or deaths.
Without proper support this is the type of burden that Officers live with weeks, months years after events that haunt them sometimes well into retirement. Events like this can lead to P.T.S.D. years later.
It is our hope at the WBL that these incidents are seen for what they are and considered by all involved as such.
Letter of support from High School to Parents regarding incident.
Dear Legend Families, This is a difficult time for our Legend family and I want to keep you updated with the latest information regarding yesterday’s tragic ice rescue. As was previously shared, three Legend sophomores accidentally fell through the ice of a retaining pond near Tallman Drive and Hilltop Road in Parker. It is with incredible sadness that I share the news that Patric Lantz has passed away. Max Gantnier was airlifted and remains in the hospital, and Cole Robinson has been released from the hospital and is at home with his family. I have been in touch with all three families to let them know that the entire Legend community is here to support them. I am also humbled by the outpouring of support shown by all of those who live in Parker and all of Douglas County. Legend is here for all of our students, staff and families. The District Crisis Team is available to support students, staff and parents at both Legend High School and Iron Horse Elementary School until 3:00 p.m. today (Friday) and during the school day on Tuesday. As a reminder, we do not have school on Monday due to the observance of the Martin Luther King holiday. If you need support over the long weekend, you may call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 (TALK) or visit coloradocrisisservices.org. I also want to provide you with some helpful information as you answer the questions your child may have when dealing with this tragedy. First, it is important to acknowledge that everyone responds to loss in a personal way as each new loss surfaces feelings from prior experiences. During this period of sadness, you may notice a variety of reactions from your child. You may find your child unusually talkative or quiet. Your child may ask a lot of questions, be anxious, or may want to cling to you more than usual. These are all signals of the need for a little extra support. You may also notice no reaction from your child. Children can experience a wide range of feelings and behaviors that are normal when dealing with this kind of tragedy. Finally, I often talk about how Legend is a family. This is evident every day in our hallways and classrooms. This is especially true on a day like today. Please take care of one another and know that all of us at Legend are here to support you. Sincerely, Jason Jacob Principal Legend High School