Westfield pair drown in effort to rescue dog

Last modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WESTFIELD - In what police called a "horrible freak accident," a Westfield couple drowned after trying to rescue their dog after it leapt into the waters of Hampton Ponds State Park Monday evening.

About 6:30, 64-year-old Daniel Cyr and his wife, Patricia, 61, were boating on the pond when their dog, Sadie, jumped from the boat, prompting Daniel Cyr to follow it into the water.

According to police, after Daniel Cyr became distressed, Patricia Cyr, who police said could not swim, followed him into the water.

"It doesn't surprise me at all," their daughter Miranda Landry told The Boston Globe. "I know that's what she would do."

Two people on personal watercraft and two boaters heard the screams and helped pull the couple from the water and transport them to shore.

Detective Sgt. Raymond Manos of the Westfield Police Department said that after attempts by rescue personnel to revive the couple failed, Daniel Cyr was taken by ambulance to Noble Hospital in Westfield and Patricia Cyr was taken to Holyoke Hospital. Each was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Manos said it will be up to the state medical examiner's office to determine if autopsies are warranted.

The dog survived and is in the care of a family member, Manos said.

The couple received the West Highland terrier as a gift from Daniel Cyr's sister six weeks ago to replace a beloved dog who died a year ago, Landry and a neighbor told The Globe.

The dog will be returned to Daniel Cyr's sister, Landry said, adding that she couldn't take the dog in herself because it would be too painful to have the pet around.

The Cyrs were a devoted couple of 40 years, and "they couldn't survive without each other," said Landry, the youngest of the couple's three children.

Manos said the popular swimming and boating spot is usually very safe, with this case and one other drowning on the Southampton side of the pond earlier this year being the only fatal accidents in recent memory.

Nicolae Ulinici, 46, of West Springfield drowned June 16 when he entered the water from a boat and never resurfaced. Ulinici's body was recovered the next day following a search.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.


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