Teen who died while trying to rescue mother, child at Woodbine Beach identified
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:40AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:44PM EDT
The 16-year-old boy who died at Woodbine Beach while trying to help a mother and child in distress in the water has been identified as a Scarborough student.
Kyle Howard-Muthulingam was near Ashbridges Bay at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday when he heard people calling out for help and jumped into the water. A number of other bystanders went into the water as well, police said at the time.
When emergency crews arrived, Kyle Howard-Muthulingam was among five people rescued from the lake.
He was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition where he died a short time later.
A spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board confirmed his identity on Wednesday. They said the teen was due to start Grade 12 at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in Scarborough in a few weeks’ time.
“Kyle was a good, well-rounded student, excelling in dance and drama in particular. More importantly, he was a genuinely kind and well-liked young man who was always willing to help others,” Principal Tom Lazarou wrote in a statement issued Wednesday.
“Indeed, he was trying to assist others in need on Friday when this tragedy occurred. Kyle will be so sorely missed by our students and staff. The school community is understandably upset by this loss.”
Offers of condolence for the teen are being shared on a GoFundMe page seemingly set up to help his family pay for his funeral.
Aly King, who organized the fundraising effort, remembered him as a “kind spirit” and “loving soul.”
“He was able to leave an imprint on so many of our lives and hearts,” King wrote. “Kyle, you were such an amazing young man filled with so much life and promise. You are so loved and you will be greatly missed.”
Donors also took time to reminisce about the young man’s life.
“I knew Kyle since elementary. He was always a kind and charismatic person. Rest in peace and best wishes to his family,” Farhan Tanzim wrote.
The TDSB says Wexford Collegiate will be open at 11 a.m. Wednesday for anyone in the community who wants to pay tribute to Howard-Muthulingam.
A steady trickle of students and staff have walked through the school doors since they opened. Many of them consoled and embraced one another outside the front doors.
“He was such a good person,” one student told CTV News Toronto. “You would never think that someone that you walked in the hallways with every day and said hi to all the time just isn’t going to be here anymore.”
Other classmates remembered him for his love of dance and taekwondo.
No one at the school is surprised that the teen died trying to help others.
“It sounded like Kyle,” said another student. “He was always one who wanted to help out other people. When I was upset, Kyle was one of the first people there.”
At the height of the incident, the coast guard and several police boats lined a rocky part of the shore.
Police said the area, in particular, is known for “significant undertow” and requires the “strongest of swimmers.”
The condition of the other people rescued from the lake is not yet known.