Waterford Township man tried to rescue wife, daughter from pond

Francis X. Donnelly
The Detroit News

Waterford Township — Lloyd Syron had just taken his wife and daughter to a doctor's appointment Wednesday when they stopped at the daughter's home to pick up some clothes.

It was hot, so he left the SUV running so the women would have air conditioning while he went inside the condo, according to Waterford Township police.

When he returned to the 2019 Ford Escape, it was gone. It was in a nearby pond.

Syron, 83, who is co-owner of the Pontiac Country Club, jumped in the water and tried to break the vehicle's windows with a rock, police said.

When that didn't work, he rushed to the road and tried to flag down a car. After 10 minutes, a woman stopped and called 911.

Waterford Township police and firefighters responded, bringing the two women to local hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.

They were identified as Mary Syron, 81, a mother of five, and Maureen Syron, 56, who had an 18-year-old son. Both lived in Waterford Township.

"So many people loved Maureen and Mary," said Michele Greaves of West Bloomfield Township. "There could not be two more wonderful people in the world."

Lloyd Syron had apparently left the SUV in drive while he went to retrieve the clothes, said police. 

The vehicle then rolled forward in the parking lot, went down a small embankment and into the pond, where it was completely submerged.

Both victims were limited in their mobility.

Maureen Syron was disabled but the specific disability wasn't known. Mary Syron used a walker to get around.

The investigation is continuing, according to police on Monday.

Neighbors were distraught by the news.

They described Maureen Syron as personable and proud of her son, who had recently received a scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

Neighbor Marie Bliss said she couldn't comprehend what he and Lloyd Syron were going through.

"Losing one loved one is tough. Two is a nightmare," Bliss said.

Bliss described the gruesome retrieval of the SUV from the pond. She said it was eerie to see the taillights poking from the surface of the water.

"It's horrible," she said.

Friends described Maureen Syron as always being happy and smiling.

She was an avid sports fan, rooting for Notre Dame in football and Duke in basketball, they said.

North Carolina is one of Duke's arch rivals but she was contemplating rooting for it because of her son's decision to attend the school.

Well-wishers left messages to the Syron family on a website that contained Maureen Syron's obituary.

In a note addressed to her son, the Minnebo family of Commerce recalled Maureen Syron's endless cheer.

"Your mom will be remembered as a ray of sunshine," wrote the Minnebo family.

In another note to the son, the Weimer family of Waterford Township recalled his mom wearing UNC apparel at his open house.

It was clear that both Maureen and Mary Syron were proud of his accomplishment, wrote the Weimers.

"Continue to follow your dreams," wrote the Weimers. "You have much to offer and share with the world."


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Twitter: @francisXdonnell