Town Manager Drowns After Saving Son from Icy Pond

A tragic incident unfolded on Friday when a town manager in Maine lost his life to the icy depths of a local pond, but not before ensuring the safety of his 4-year-old son. Kevin Howell, 51, and his son, Sawyer, were taking an early morning stroll across Etna Pond when the ice gave way beneath them, as reported by the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.

In a heroic act of fatherly love, Howell managed to lift his son out of the freezing water, urging him to run the short distance back to their home in Carmel and alert his mother. The young boy bravely completed the journey, leading his mother to call 911 and rush to her husband’s aid, armed with an anchor and rope.

Despite her efforts, the situation took a turn for the worse when she too fell through the ice after securing the rope to the shore and attempting to reach her husband. However, the Penobscot sheriff arrived in time to rescue her using the same rope she had tied moments before. Unfortunately, by this time, Howell had disappeared beneath the icy surface.

Rescue divers recovered Howell’s body shortly before 2 p.m., nearly eight hours after the initial incident and just 20 minutes after their search began. At the time of his tragic death, Howell was serving as the town manager for Carmel, a position he had held since 2015.

Howell was a respected figure in the community, having received several awards for his contributions to local government, including the town Leadership award in 2020, as stated on Carmel’s official website. In the wake of the tragedy, many town employees showed their respect by changing their Facebook profile pictures to the town’s emblem, adorned with a black ribbon symbolizing mourning.

In addition to his role as town manager, Howell was a member of Maine’s second EMS Blue Ribbon Commission. The Maine EMS expressed their condolences in a statement, praising Howell for his visionary work in developing a regional EMS system and his unwavering support for the Maine Bureau of EMS, the state, and his community.

Etna Pond, covering approximately 361 acres with a depth of 12 feet, is a popular location for ice fishing and skating.