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Ken HoangChicago, IL – Two people are dead and one is injured after one man tried retrieving a dropped cell phone and they all ended up falling through the ice of the Chicago River.

Shortly after midnight, 26-year-old Ken Hoang of dropped his cell phone as he and two friends walked along Water Street near McClurg Court. The phone ended up in the partially frozen Chicago River and Hoang jumped a fence in an attempt to retrieve it.

He ended up falling through the ice and his two friends, 23-year-old Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang and 21-year-old Lauren Li, ended up in the river with him when they both tried to help him. Witnesses called police after they heard one of the two men yelling for help.

“My friend said he heard a yell [for] help, you know. At first I didn’t believe it, so we still kept walking this way to keep sightseeing. As we got closer, he heard it again and I heard it again, too. And as we got closer, we yelled out, ‘Where you at?'” witness Luis said. “I kept saying who was he with? And they said he had a friend and girlfriend, too, that went under the water, but he couldn’t find her. We called the police.”

A dive rescue team ended up pulling both men out of the river and rushed them to the hospital where Ken Hoang would be pronounced dead. The rescue team could not locate Li. She is still missing and presumed dead. The Chicago Police Department’s Marine Unit resumed their search at daybreak but say visibility is low and they’re having trouble reading their gauges.

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Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang was in stable condition at St. Joseph Hospital and left a post on his Facebook page that stated: “Life’s too short..I hope no one would ever have to go through something so unfortunate such as what has happened…from the bottom of my heart I am sorry for what happened…RIP Ken Hoang Lauren Li

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he hopes the deaths of these two people serves as a warning to others. “The lesson learned here is real simple. If your pets go onto ice, if you drop a cell phone or wallet, do not try and retrieve it,” he said.

No shit. I hate to say it, but if my friend fell into an icy river while trying to retrieve a cellphone, the last thing they’d see before going under is me, yards away on the river bank, holding out a stick while shouting, “Grab it, dumbass!”

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  • Stephen Phillips

    Cellphones causing all kinds of problems this week.

  • Chief Jay Strongbow

    Never underestimate cold water, and the phone is cheap compared to your life.

  • CT

    I am not a fan of any phone – let alone my cell phone. My phone rings all day at work so I tend not to even bother with my cell phone if I can help it. I might not even know it is gone for a while unless Leavemebe is texting me love songs – then I’m all ears.

  • Brent Williams

    If it was an iPhone I wonder what this puts the tally at if you factor in workers at Apple factories jumping to their deaths as well.

  • newstarshipsmell

    Come on Morbid, quit leaving out the important details.

    Was the phone retrieved?

  • Jessie

    Only because MORONS are totally obsessed with them. They are responsible for the majority of car accidents every day too. I just don’t get it.

  • DeweyCheatam

    And that flipping water is very very cold in the summer!

  • Buffettgirl

    Argh – more cell phone dumbassery going on… CELL PHONES ARE NEVER THAT IMPORTANT!

  • thebossessecretary

    Walking out on the ice of a frozen river to retrieve your idiotic cellphone makes me think all of them were drunk. Or possibly, foreigners from a country that never sees snow and had no idea of what a stupid idea it was.

  • Kittyskyfish

    I hope his cell carrier provides spirit mediums because he’ll need them in the afterlife.

    How to place a call: Please make the candles flicker if you wish to speak with your loved ones.

  • Carrie Burton

    This is such a sad story, I hope they find this girl so her family can have some closure & are able to give her a proper resting place.

  • Jermaine Marcel Dotson

    can you hear me now?

  • MrClayton

    Stories like this scare me so bad. When I was in 8th grade I lived in northern Illinois. Until then, I lived in the deep south. That winter a nearby lake froze over and people were ice skating on it. A few weeks later, I had the great idea to use it as a shortcut to the video arcade. I did not notice there had not been anyone out there that day. There hadn’t been anyone on it for a while. I was in the very middle, by myself, and the ice started breaking and cracking. I did the only thing I could think of. I fell down and crawled almost the entire rest of the way to the edge. No one knew where I was going, or where I was. If I had fallen through, I would just be another kid missing.

  • Helena Philomena Liebekraft

    I always get cheap phones anyway. But regardless of the cost, the damn thing is not worth dying for.

  • guest 009

    I know a relative of Ken. It’s sad and such a waste of a good life. He was a good guy from all accounts. Just a split second reaction .. that went so tragic

  • BrittBrittRoss


  • tkaz

    Zombies. Cell phones started the Zombie Apocalypse.

  • tkaz

    Survival of the fittest!

  • Jessie

    Did you read Stephen King’s “Cell”?

  • tkaz

    No. But it only makes sense…all the people walking around looking at their phones. Remember when people made eye contact? That was cool.

    I can’t read King, I don’t know why. I get frustrated when it takes him two pages to explain brain matter or whatever.

  • Jessie

    Hahaha, I think that’s why I like him. Anyway, in the book everyone who was talking on a cell phone at this particular point in time suddenly turned into a zombie. It was an entertaining read 😉

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    this is getting to be as bad as pitbulls

  • VenusDoom3

    They’re turning it into a movie! Psyched!

  • Elizabeth McCarthy

    What ever happened to finding a long stick or pole to fish it off the ice? You know, common sense like? Hold my beer and watch this!

  • MrClayton

    When I think back on that, it scare me to no end how STUPID I was.

  • thebossessecretary

    Just reported. They were drunk.

  • Jessie

    I am in the middle of Dr. Sleep. So far so good. I am sure they will be making this into a movie soon too.

  • Andrea Pizzuto

    Stupid motherfucker. For a phone, really? Freezing cold = freezing cold water.. I live in Chicago, you wouldn’t want to take a dip in ANY of our water. Let alone in fucking January.

  • girouxfilms

    This is so sad… Happened a few blocks away from my work. The weather conditions in Chicago are the worst we ever had. It was -40 wind chill last week! No one dared to go outside.

  • VenusDoom3

    The last twenty pages of Dr. Sleep gave me legit, lasting goosebumps. SO good!

  • phhantom

    I dont understand why somebody would go after a phone in an icy river. It is NOT warm outside right now. Illinois is especially brutal.