PALMER LAKE TOWNSHIP, Minn. - A Zimmerman man and his passenger managed to escape after their vehicle plunged through a channel in Sherburne County Thursday night.
Sheriff Joel Brott says 22-year-old Chayse Barrett and his friend were driving on the ice of a channel between Rush and Briggs Lakes around 5:30 p.m. when it gave way and the pickup they were in sank in approximately three feet of water.
A tow truck pulled the vehicle out on Friday afternoon.
Barrett told deputies he was unfamiliar with the conditions, and Sheriff Brott says ice remains poor and inconsistent in some areas.
Authorities across the greater metro and Minnesota are warning residents about the inconsistency of ice on lakes, rivers and channels despite our recent cold snap. On Lake Minnetonka alone seven vehicles sank through the ice in just a three day period.
Anyone thinking of driving on the ice is advised to follow these guidlines:
- Anyone using the ice - including people on foot, snowmobiles and ATVs - should use safety precautions such as wearing life jackets. Sheriff's deputies wear life jackets when they are on the ice.
- For parents and caregivers of young children, remember that if your child is walking on or near ice you should be near your child. Active supervision is recommended at all times on or near lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water.
- For parents and caregivers of teens and young adults, communicate your safety rules and restrictions for those who will be driving your vehicles. If driving on ice is prohibited in your vehicle, make that rule clear to all potential drivers.
- Despite the recent cold weather, channels of Lake Minnetonka remain dangerous and should be avoided. A vehicle, such as a car, truck, or SUV, should NEVER be driven through a channel.
- Channels should be also be avoided by people on foot, snowmobiles, and ATVs. A snowmobile or ATV also have a high likelihood of going through the ice on a channel.
- Pressure ridges should be avoided at all times due to a false impression that the ice is stable. All vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, snowmobiles, and ATVs should avoid pressure ridges. People on foot should avoid pressure ridges.
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