BEMIDJI, Minn. (WCCO) – Despite the drop in temperatures, some lakes are still unsafe at the end of December.
On Christmas Eve, John Herman Klasen III’s truck crossed the ice as he fished on Lake Bemidji.
His granddaughter, Sarah Dixon, said: “Losing a family member close to the holidays, it’s been terrible for everyone.
Dixon describes her grandfather as someone who enjoys riding motorbikes and spending time with his large family.
“After I found out that the truck that fell into Lake Bemidji was my grandfather’s truck, I couldn’t hold back my tears,” she said.
Authorities said the 69-year-old man was in his vehicle when it fell through the ice around 5:30 p.m. local time. Dixon said he was accompanied by his girlfriend, who got out of the car safely.
Investigators estimated the ice was four to five inches thick at the location where the vehicle passed.
“He thought maybe because it was so cold there would be enough ice,” Dixon said.
He was the first person to die on Lake Minnesota this winter.
“This year, Lake Bemidji is about two weeks behind its normal freezing point,” said Beltrami County Sheriff Deputy Chief Jarrett Walton.
DNR does not measure the thickness of the tape, so you are responsible.
For general guidance on tape thickness and safety, click here.