CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wisconsin (WQOW) - A family of four escaped in the nick of time after their vehicle fell through the ice in Chippewa County. It happened Sunday (01/06) afternoon on Lake Wissota.
The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department says the family was driving their truck onto the ice to go fishing. The front end of the truck began to fall through the ice. The man and the woman were able to get out the drivers side door. Other fisherman on the lake then helped two children crawl through the back window to safety -- just in time.
Chris Kowalcyzk of the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department says, "I strongly believe that, you know, they'd only have seconds, up to a minute to actually be able to get out of the cold, icy water if in fact their vehicle would have completely submerged. And to escape back onto the ice sometimes is a miracle."
The Sheriff's Department says the ice around where the vehicle went though appeared to be only about six inches thick. The truck will be removed from the ice.
The Minnesota DNR says you need a minimum of four inches of clear ice to safely walk on. Eight-inches is the minimum thickness for cars and small pick-ups, and it must be at least a foot thick before a medium sized pickup can head out on the ice.
Always double-check the thickness before heading out. If you're unsure it's best to just not go out..
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