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Former Benson school superintendent dies after falling through ice near Pierre, S.D.

Carl Remmers

BENSON -- A former superintendent of the Benson Schools died Tuesday after falling through the ice near Pierre, S.D., while trying to rescue his dog, the Bemidji Pioneer reported today.

Carl Eugene Remmers, 66, drowned after falling through the ice on the Missouri River near a campground area east of the city.

Remmers served as superintendent in Benson from June, 2000 to June, 2006 when he accepted the superintendent position for the Cass Lake-Bena School District.

Hughes County Sheriff Sgt. Darin Johnson told the Bemidji Pioneer that it was a "tragic but simple accident.''

Remmers was walking his golden retriever at a recreation area east of town and the dog ran onto the ice, which broke, Johnson said.

Remmers attempted to save the dog, and also broke through the ice.

A rescue team had difficulty reaching Remmers because the ice was too thin to walk on and too thick for a boat.

Rescuers had to break through the ice, and it took more than an hour to reach Remmers.

Johnson said Remmers was found by divers near a hole where he fell in, which was not visible from shore.

Remmers was pronounced dead about 6:45 p.m. at a Pierre hospital. The dog was treated for hypothermia.

Remmer and his wife, Mavis moved to Pierre last November.

Remmers resigned from his position in the Cass Lake-Bena district in 2010 after he was charged with inappropriately touching a 17-year-old boy.

Last year, Remmers pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to one year in jail with 275 days stayed for two years. A police report said Remmers asked the boy for forgiveness and couldn't explain why he touched him.