Families mourn victims of past lake ice accidents

9:38 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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DEEPHAVEN, Minn. - The recent rash of deadly through-the-ice accidents on Lake Minnetonka is a chilling déjà vu for some families.

"It is very reminiscent of 10 years ago," said Bryant Cooper of Chanhassan, brother of Evan Wilson. "The weather patterns and things of that nature, brutally cold and then it warms up and it creates these issues on lakes in the area ... It is very, very sad to hear that more families are experiencing the same event that we did 10 years ago."

In January 2003, Evan Wilson, 16, and Jackie Fricke, 17, were headed across the lake ice to Big Island from Robinson's Bay when his vehicle plunged through the ice.

"He had just gotten his license during the winter months in Minnesota," explained Cooper. "So, it is a lot of fun to go out there and cruise around on the roads."

Cooper said he and others used to drive on the frozen lake, until that fateful night a decade ago.

"Not anymore," said Cooper. "No. You know, I do not. I have made that decision that it is not something I need to partake in."

Cooper went on to say that he believes driving on the lake can be absolutely safe, but only if precautions are taken, like leaving car windows open for potential fast exits and minding the rules of lake driving including obeying the speed limit.

Still Maureen Evans, Evan's mother, repeated her feelings 10 years earlier that she wished Minnesotans would stop driving on the ice and stop having the fatal incidents.

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