Woman falls through ice, removes clothing, boots to get out of freezing Westminster pond

Accident occurs one year after man's drowning

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - A 30-year old woman who slid off the ice into a freezing Westminster pond told family members she’s lucky to be alive.

The woman’s husband told 7NEWS that the couple and their kids had been at Dave and Busters and were walking back to the Westin Hotel around 11:30 Tuesday.

"We'd had a few drinks," Brandon Bellrose said. "But I don't think we were drunk."

Bellrose said he went up to the hotel room and that his wife stayed out by the pond to smoke a cigarette.

"She thought she'd go sliding on the ice," he said. "She slid right into the water."

Bellrose says his wife panicked.

"She went under three different times and tried to pull herself out, but couldn't get leverage on the ice," he said.

Bellrose said his wife told him that she removed some heavier clothing and her Ugg boots and was then able to grab hold and roll back onto the ice.

"That's when emergency crews arrived and rescued her from the ice," he said.

The accident happened one year to the day that Luke Edwards' body was pulled from the same pond next to the Westin Hotel.

Edward's mom told 7NEWS that she cried when she heard about the most recent accident.

"I tried to tell everybody last year that this pond is way too deep," Theresa Fisher said.

She said the edges of the pond are too steep for anyone to be able to walk out.

"We watched divers fall down trying to get into the water last year," she said.

Fisher said her son inadvertently walked into the pond while taking a walk following a party last December.

She said the city should take steps to make the pond safer.

"I don’t think the pond itself is unsafe," said Diana Wilson of the Westminster Fire Department. "But in response to the tragedy last year, we thought lighting might have been a factor. So the city did actually go in and improve the lighting to try to make it safer."

Duane Fisher said it's still not safe enough.

"I almost tripped into the lake in broad daylight," he said, referring to the low concrete edging on the south side of the pond.

Duane Fisher said he, too, has asked city officials to make safety improvements, either by installing railings around the pond, or by making it more shallow.

"And they pretty much blew me off, like I didn't know what I was talking about," Fisher said.

When asked if the pond needs to be cordoned off or drained, Wilson replied, "If that's what our citizens wanted… we could."

But Wilson notes that there are many ponds in the metro area that are used for retention purposes or for decoration.

"It's a pretty tough issue to fence off every body of water," she said.

Theresa Fisher said she's not opposed to water features.

"Luke loved this place," she said. "He was walking around the pond because he loved it. He was excited to come here. I wouldn't want to get rid of it for that (reason.)  But I want it safe. I don't want someone else to go through this."


 

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