T wo North Street youths got a dunk in ice cold water and a serious scare but were otherwise unharmed after falling into the Mettowee River late Monday afternoon.
Officials said the boys, one 9 and one 12, were playing in the area behind Manchester Wood along the banks of the Mettowee River when the pair fell in.
It is not clear if the pair were walking on ice in the river or playing along the bank, but both ended up in the frigid waters.
The call went out about 4:30 p.m. reporting two youths had fallen in the river; one had made his way to the road to flag down help.
When first responders arrived at the scene 9-year-old Peyton Clark was unaccounted for but had been reported as being on an island in the river when last seen.
Firefighters used a four-wheel-drive pickup, a four-wheeler and a snowmobile to cross the field to an area near where Peyton was believed to be.
As rescuers neared the woods along the river Peyton emerged and walked to them. He was picked up and carried to the truck and brought to a waiting ambulance.
The second boy, a 11-year-old named Zack McClure had made his way across the large cornfield to the road to get help and was taken to the offices of the furniture factory to warm up.
Officials said both boys were unharmed but scared by the incident; Clark was taken to Rutland Regional Hospital as a precaution.
Lisa Clark, Peyton’s mother, arrived at the scene just in time to see rescuers pick her son up out in the cornfield.
The relived mom said her son was “in a little bit of trouble” because he knew he was not supposed to be playing near the river. “Maybe now he knows that Mom knows what she’s talking about,” she said.
“I think he’s learned a lesson, hopefully,” Clark said. That lesson, rescuers said, is to stay away from the Mettowee River, especially when the weather turns cold and ice begins to form.