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Truck plunges through ice

February 18, 2011
By Dionna Harris

KIPLING - A recent spat of warm weather has caused sections of ice on Little Bay de Noc to begin deteriorating.

A vehicle operated by Francis Flemac, 62, Escanaba, plunged through the ice just east of Butler's Island off the Kipling Boat Launch at approximately 3:54 p.m. Thursday.

Flemac, along with a passenger, Kelly Jo Norkooli, 27, Escanaba, were able to exit the vehicle without injury. Flemac was treated however for mild hypothermia, according to officials. Delta County Sheriff's Deputy Dan LaCarte said Flemac became disoriented in the fog, which caused him to drive into a area of Little Bay de Noc known for thin ice conditions.

Deputies from the Delta County Sheriff's Department, along with Michigan State Police Troopers and Gladstone Public Saftey responded to the scene. Also responding to the scene was TKL Towing of Rapid River, who secured the vehicle for extraction from the ice anticipated to be undertaken Friday. No citations were issued as a result of the incident.

Fact Box

At a glance

Delta County Sheriff Gary Ballweg is reminding residents to avoid thawing lakes and rivers in the wake of recent unseasonably warm temperatures. Should you find yourself on thin ice Ballweg offers the following tips:

If you hear a crack and you are in a group, spread out. Everyone should immediately lie down to distribute the weight on the ice more evenly, then crawl on your belly to safer ice.

Should someone fall through the ice, do not run to the hole. Call 911 and then use a pole, branch, or other long object to try and reach the victim.

If you fall through the ice, stay calm. Call out for help and kick your feet while getting hands and arms up onto safer ice. Ice picks or screwdrivers can help you get a grip on the ice. Continue to swim up onto the ice until you can crawl or roll out onto the ice to safety.



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