Ken Hoang (26-year-old), Lauren Li (21-year-old) and Quoc Viet Phan Hoang (23-year-old) were taking a road trip through to New Jersey when they stopped in Chicago. All three were strolling along the Chicago River when Ken Hoang dropped his cellphone on the ice while taking a picture. When he dropped down to retrieve it, he fell through the ice.
In an effort to save Ken, the other two jumped in and ultimately only one survived. ABC News reported, “Diver rescue teams pulled two men – ages 23 and 26 – from the water and transported them to area hospitals. The 26-year-old man [Ken Hoang] from St. Paul, Minnesota, died later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The 23-year-old man [Quoc Viet Phan Hoang] remains in critical but stable condition at St. Joseph Hospital.”
The rescue effort for Lauren Li turned into a recovery effort and divers ultimately found her dead body. Lauren Li was an honors student at University of Minnesota in her senior year and studying biology. The Chicago Tribune held a phone interview with Li’s father, Ben Li, and he stated, “I didn’t want her to go at first, but I just gave in. Because I love her so much and I wanted her to be happy. But it turned out so bad. Now that won’t matter at all.”
The survivor, Phan Hoang was quoted by ABC News as saying, “I lost two good friends. It’s not easy seeing your friends drift away and having one die in your arms. I have never felt so helpless in my life. Thank you for everyone’s thoughts and prayers.”