A family mourns the loss of a hero after a 10-year-old boy died saving his sister from the Big Sioux River in South Dakota.
At approximately 7 p.m. On Saturday, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced on social media that a large-scale rescue operation was underway near Hudson. Multiple agencies helped the LCSO search the Big Sioux River for a missing 10-year-old boy, according to a Facebook post.
At 10:30 p.m., the LCSO reported on Facebook that a dive team had recovered the boy’s body.
Ricky Lee Sneve was identified as the victim by his family. His mother, Nicole Eufers, said she was in the river with her father and her siblings.
A couple of brothers fell into the water. Dad stepped in for two of them, and Ricky stepped in to save his sister Chevelle, Eufers told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Sneve was able to push his sister to shore, but when her father and his brothers turned around, he was missing, Eufers said.
He saved the lives of his sisters, Eufers said.
The boy’s father, Chad Sneve, agreed with Eufers, saying that his son was the type of boy who would do anything for anyone. His son was smart, dedicated and conservative, he said.
He was generous, kind and special in more ways than I can begin to explain, said Chad Sneve. He was my everything and he touched everyone he encountered.
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Her mother described the 10-year-old boy as her best friend. He was the eldest of Eufers’ four sons and had a total of five siblings. Eufers said that he loved to fish. He also enjoyed ripping, a hobby he learned from his father Chad Sneve, and working on his four-wheeler with his stepfather Logan. Other times, he helped his stepmother Jaici cook and clean the house, according to his mother.
She taught me to love and appreciate life. It never ceased to amaze me, Eufers said.
The LCSO was not available to comment on the incident.
A GoFundMe has been created to help Sneve’s family cover expenses related to his death.