Denville teen saves friend who fell through ice

Andy Field has an exclusive interview with the hero teen
December 28, 2013 10:03:41 AM PST
Eyewitness News spoke exclusively to the skater who saved his hockey teammate when he fell through the ice in Denville, New Jersey.

17-year-old Matt Mezik made it home from hockey practice, but he nearly did not survive a fall through the ice as he tried to help a teammate who'd fallen in the local Indian Lake.

"When I went in there originally to help, I fell in too, the ice broke underneath me. I was able to climb back out of the hole and we were yelling for help," said Matt Mezik, the rescuer.

Children and teens were back skating on the ice despite Matt and his friend's near death dive 100 yards from shore late Thursday night .

"When I was trying to grab back on to the ice when I fell in, it would just break, I would try to grab back on and it would break, it wouldn't stop. It was so cold, soaking wet, and freezing," Mezik said.

The ice on lakes across our area looks deceptively safe, but last weekend's heat left a lot of cracks.

"The ice has only been frozen couple of days. It was 70 on Sunday, but for it to be 20 for a day or two doesn't make it safe," said Chief Christopher Wagner, of the Denville Police Department.

Rescue crews arrived to help Matt and his friend to the hospital and both grateful someone heard their calls.

"Thank God for people in Indian Lake that helped us, the fire department, police, everyone that helped out, it was definitely lucky," Mezik said.

Both families saying the teens are doing fine, they even went to hockey practice.

Experts say to make sure the ice is safe to avoid a deadly mistake.