New Jersey man falls through ice while trying to save dog

Toni Yates has the story.
March 17, 2014 6:08:09 PM PDT
Two firefighters came to the aid of a man who fell through the ice on a northern New Jersey lake while trying to rescue his dog.

Roxbury police tell The Daily Record of Parsippany that the 57-year-old township resident went into Horseshoe Lake around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. He was taken to a hospital for treatment, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The man was about 30 feet from the shore when he fell through the ice. He had gone after his dog, who was able to rescue himself.

The two firefighters soon responded and quickly made their way onto the ice. The man was pulled from the water moments later.

"I'm going to cry, I lost two dogs that were close to me a couple of years ago and it took me a year to get over them and find another dog," said Frank Kerchner, the man who went after his dog Alfie.

One day before their one year anniversary of finding one another, they almost lost each other.

"All these ducks came in, and Alfie decided to chase the ducks and he fell through the ice," said Kerchner.

Kevin Wojtaszek was jogging by. "I saw a man screaming towards the ice, and there was a dog out there, halfway through the ice, its paws holding it up. The man started crawling across, and halfway through, he fell in," said Wojtaszek.

Fire captain Dave Ward and a couple of other rescuers work only 700 yards away. They got knee deep into the water, and threw ropes out to Frank.

Then Randolph's ice rescue team arrived and Kerchner was brought to land. Now he and Alfie are together again, and now Frank is making sure there's a leash on him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.