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Grandfather, Grandson Drown After Falling Through Ice While Skating

Gerard and Nicolas Payeur drowned Friday

Ascot Corner, Quebec — A grandfather and grandson died Friday after they fell through ice while skating on a lake outside the grandfather’s home.

Gerard Payeur, 64, and his 9-year-old grandon, Nicolas, were taken by emergency services to a hospital late Friday afternoon after the boy’s family saw them disappear into the water. Gerard Payeur died shortly after arriving at the hospital, and Nicolas Payeur died early Saturday morning.

The boy’s grandmother went out onto the lake to try to save the child and her husband. She remains in the hospital with hypothermia, but Sgt. Gregory Gomez, spokesperson for the Surete du Quebec, said, “Her life is not in danger.”

According to the Edmonton Journal, Dave Benneth, Nicolas Payeur’s uncle, said he couldn’t understand why the boy’s grandfather would allow him to go skating when the ice was so thin.

“I imagine he wanted to make Nicolas happy by agreeing to go skating,” Benneth said. “Once he was on the dock, Nicolas put on his skates and pushed a hockey puck out into the middle of the lake. It was probably when he skated out to get it that the ice broke. GĂ©rard would have tried to save him, but he also fell into the lake.”

A neighbor of the family said there could have been barely an inch of ice on the lake when the drowning occurred.

Benneth also said Nicolas’ father ran into the lake to try to save them, and his grandmother pushed a sailboard toward the broken ice.

The police in the province have opened an investigation into the accident.

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