HAYMARKET, Va. (DC News Now) — An unidentified 19-year-old man died after he fell through a pond at the Piedmont Golf Club in the Piedmont Community late Christmas Eve. A 19-year-old friend survived.

“That was his life here on Earth,” said Dr. Angela Knight, a minister who consoled the families. “But I believe in eternity, and I believe God has something more for us, I believe this is not the end.”

Knight is also a neighbor. The families were not ready to talk, but Knight did.

“In this neighborhood when something happens, the community, we all love each other,” Knight said. “So we rally. We’ve seen houses burned down, people are crying, we just want to comfort each other.”

Police said the teen fell through the thin ice just before 10 p.m.

Prince William County emergency responders reminded the community not to step onto frozen bodies of water after the tragedy. You should only go out on ice that is at least three inches thick, according to the National Weather Service.

The ice is safe for geese and ducks. But, the county fire marshal said that should serve as a warning for people to stay off the ice since the birds’ swimming and feeding activities make the surface unsafe.

If someone falls through the ice, firefighters recommend:

  1. Call 911 immediately
  2. Do not go onto the ice to rescue them
  3. Safely reach out to the victim by providing them with something that will help them stay afloat.

A sign warned people not to go on the ice or in the water.

“If his 19-year-old life can save anyone else’s life when it comes to water danger and ice, then his life was well served,” said Knight.

Police say the best advice right now is not to go out on the ice.