Wis. brothers both sink trucks in lake

FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Brett Lobajeski tried to help save his brother's pickup truck after it went through the ice on Lake Winnebago on Sunday. It cost him his own pickup truck.

Lobajeski said he saw his brother, Robert, break through the ice near Clarence's Harbor at the south end of the lake, and returned to try to help him. But his front tires also broke through the ice about 100 feet from his brother's truck.

Robert Lobajeski's truck was bridged above the water by its plow and rear bumper.

"We were finished riding (motorcycles) for the day and I was out picking up the cones to get them back on the truck," Robert Lobajeski said. "I just drove off the track and my truck sunk. I sat there stuck and I had him come out and to try and pull me out real quick. He just did a U-turn and his truck got stuck."

The two brothers were helped by snowmobilers and members of the Otter Street Fishing Club who were on the lake removing ramps. The trucks weren't far from recommended driving paths, but weather that was in the 50s appeared to have caused ice in the area to soften and become fragile.

Snowmobilers, ATVs and other trucks also were operating in the vicinity at the time the Lobajeskis' trucks became trapped.

"He crawled through the window, but mine wasn't down far enough where I couldn't get out," Robert Lobajeski said. "I wasn't scared at all."

About about two hours after the brothers escaped from the trucks, the front end of Brett Lobajeski's truck slipped under the water as crews tried to pull it out.

Brett Lobajeski said his truck, which he uses to drive to work, is unlikely to function.

At about 5 p.m., Robert Lobajeski's truck still remained above water.


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