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Southern Tier man dies after falling through thin ice over the weekend

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  • Staff Report 

A 59-year-old man from Endwell drowned on Friday afternoon while ice fishing on Alexander Pond in Newark Valley, according to the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office. Norman J. O’Neil was fishing with another man when they both fell through the ice. One of the men was able to free himself, but he was unable to rescue O’Neil.

When first responders arrived at the scene, O’Neil was approximately 150 feet from shore. Despite their best efforts to resuscitate him, he did not survive.


The other man was transported to Wilson Hospital by Maine EMS and was released after receiving treatment. The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division also responded to the scene to investigate the incident.


O’Neil’s death was determined to be an accidental drowning. First responders from several agencies, including the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Newark Valley Fire Department, Owego Fire Department, Owego Emergency Squad, Maine Emergency Squad, Inc., Campville Fire Department, and Tioga County Emergency Services, were involved in the response.

The incident has raised concerns about the safety of ice fishing and the importance of taking precautions when engaging in outdoor winter activities. Authorities are reminding the public to be cautious when venturing out onto frozen bodies of water and to always check the ice thickness and conditions before going onto it.



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