Hearts broke in Ontario when two young local boys were killed while snowmobiling over thin ice on a frozen lake. 15-year-old Alexander Martin from Gravenhurst, Ontario and 11-year-old Mitchell Paris from Bracebridge, tragically died yesterday on March 4. Now, Northern Ontario schools are mourning the death of the two boys whose lives were claimed in a Lake Muskoka snowmobile crash. The victims were cousins and the snowmobiling trip was during a family outing, a family member told CTV News.
The two northern Ontario schools that the victims attended, Bracebridge Public School and Gravenhurst High School, are lowering their flags today on March 5 as an effort to mourn the death of the two students, according to CTV News.
Letters have been sent to staff, students and families today as well about the death of the boys. "We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two of our students", reads a statement from the school board, according to CTV News. "Special counselling services have been available at the schools these students attended and will continue to be available throughout the week and longer, if needed."
The school board hopes that the letter will help foster open discussion. "Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy," says the statement, CTV News reports.
The Ontario community was heartbroken when news broke that the two young boys had been killed. Police told CTV News Barrie that the accident has greatly affected the local community and they called it a "profound tragedy".
Ontario Provincial Police said that the boys were killed after they were snowmobiling on top of a frozen lake and the vehicles crashed through the ice into the freezing water.
Our thoughts & prayers are with the families & friends - really the entire communities of Gravenhurst and Bracebridge - as we collectively mourn the loss of two young men who died early this morning. Please know that your first responders did everything possible to help them!— GravenhurstFIRE (@GravenhurstFIRE) March 4, 2019
The accident took place after midnight yesterday on Monday, March 5. Five locals were riding three snowmobiles on top of a frozen lake. All three of the snowmobiles ended up plunging through the ice into the water and the incident claimed the lives of the two boys, according to CityNews Toronto.
The two victims did end up getting rescued from the water by rescue crews, according to CTV News. However, they died at the hospital. The other three people involved survived the incident. A 31-year-old man, a 37-year-old man, and a 14-year-old all successfully swam to shore.
Ontario Provincial Police are still currently investigating the accident.