6 vehicles fell into a Minnesota lake near the Wisconsin border this weekend while the drivers were ice fishing.
Ice Fisher Brock Smith, who fishes twice a week at Lake Pepin, told Arizona News the crowds have returned for the season. He said the parking lot was full Saturday (January 21), so drivers started parking their vehicles on the lake. Smith watched from afar as six vehicles fell through the ice and had to be reeled in.
“I felt bad for them because, I mean, it could happen to anybody, and they didn’t know they shouldn’t have been parking out there,” Smith said. He had parked out there the weekend before. “Somebody came and parked next to me, and I came and did the long walk and moved my vehicle to a parking spot, so that could have been my truck out there,” Smith said.
Although the ice may look thick enough to park on, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said vehicles should park at least fifty feet apart and move every two hours to avoid sinking. “Don’t park near the shore; just don’t park near the shore,” fellow angler Jessica Karges added.
Smith hopes for more signage warning anglers about parking on the ice after seeing people fall through over they years. “It’s always like this, so that’s why you see a lot of foot traffic and snowmobiles and four wheelers,” he said. “And we all wish and wait for us to be able to drive out there.”