HILLSBORO, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered U.S. and state flags in Highland County and Columbus be flown at half-staff in honor of an Ohio Natural Resources Department police officer who died while trying to save teenagers who fell through an icy lake in Ohio.
Jason Lagore, an ODNR police officer who responded to the call at Rocky Fork State Park in Hillsboro, died after he suffered a medical emergency, authorities said.
One of the teens involved in the incident, a 16-year-old girl, died and a teenage boy was injured, officials said.
Lagore became ill shortly after he responded to the incident, which was reported around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
In a statement on Twitter, DeWine said: "Fran and I offer our deepest condolences to Officer Lagore's family and his colleagues at @ohiodnr. In honor of his life and service, I've ordered flags lowered on public buildings and grounds in Highland County, and at the Statehouse, Riffe Center, and Rhodes Tower in Columbus."
Authorities said it occurred at a private dock down a steep incline on the north side of Rocky Fork Lake at the 2,080-acre park in Highland County.
The 13-year-old boy tried unsuccessfully to locate the girl before he freed himself from the ice and water, authorities said. The boy was taken to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia, but further details on his condition have not been released.
It took more than four hours before emergency crews found the girl, who had been trapped under the ice, officials said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities have not released the names of the teens or said if they were related.
Lagore, a married father with two young sons, was a 15-year-veteran of the force and was responsible for its first canine training academy.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement regarding Lagore's death.
"Broken ice and the frigid black water beneath can only be terrifying - Dante's deepest circle of Hell is ice, and not flames," Yost said.
Yost continued: "Officer Lagore acted with extreme courage to go to the rescue of these two kids; his example demonstrates the very highest valor. My deepest sympathies are with his family, the family of the girl he could not rescue and his colleagues. I pray for comfort for all those who mourn."
The Highland County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Division of Natural Resources were investigating the incident.
This story has been corrected by The Associated Press to show that the boy is 13, not 16, as per authorities.