‘He just was a great kid’: South Dakota community coming together to support family of drowning victim

Midwest

HUDSON, S.D. (KELO) — A family is dealing with a heartbreaking loss after a young boy died in the Big Sioux River Saturday evening near Hudson, South Dakota.

Ricky Sneve, 10, went into the water to help save his sister. She got to safety, but Ricky didn’t make it back to shore. Now, friends and family are coming together to help support the family.

“When I arrived on the scene, there were numerous fire departments, ambulance agencies, a lot of emergency workers. We had three boats in the water and several dive teams,” Lincoln County Sheriff chief deputy Chad Brown said.

It took four hours for crews to recover the body of Ricky Sneve.

“Ricky was down swimming and fishing with his family, and his sister and two brothers had gone in the water, and his dad went to go help the other two out, and Ricky went in after his sister and got his sister back to shore, and he didn’t come back up,” Dumas said.

Toni Dumas has been friends with the boy’s family for a long time.

“He was just amazing,” she said. “He was outgoing, rambunctious, and I mean, he’s a typical boy, but loved to help people out. I mean, him and his mom are like best friends, and he’d do anything for her. He loved hanging out with his dad. He just was a great kid.”

Dumas owns Country Road Photography and is donating a portion of the money she receives from upcoming sessions to the family. Her post has received more than 500 shares on Facebook.

“I just thought if I could get a couple hundred dollars for them, that would be great,” she said. “I never expected it to get shared as much as it was, but I’m not surprised with how everything else has been going, and the boy that Ricky was. It’s amazing.”

Many will remember Ricky as a hero. First responders want you to think of him the next time you’re out on the water.

“The river may look calm and fun to play in, but it’s very important that people have life jackets on, are supervised, especially kids, because no parent should have to go through something like this. It’s tragic,” Brown said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up; you can find it here

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