Truck That Went Through Ice on Lake Bemidji Successfully Removed
It was a challenging job for Ellis Towing when they were asked to remove a vehicle that had gone through the ice on Lake Bemidji over Christmas Eve.
On December 24th around 5:30 PM, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and 911 emergency communications center received a report of a vehicle going through the ice on Lake Bemidji near Diamond Point Park. The accident resulted in the death of 69-year-old John Klasen III.
At the time of the accident, the ice in that area was only 4-5 inches thick. The first attempt to remove the vehicle back on Wednesday, December 29th was unsuccessful, and the second attempt on Thursday, December 30th was also unsuccessful for crew members of Ellis Towing, as the tow cable on the truck snapped.
It wasn’t until last Friday, December 31st when Chris Ellis and his crew were successful in the removal of the truck. Ellis, owner of Ellis Towing, said that he is very thankful for his team that diligently worked to get the truck out. His team included himself, his brothers, his friend Andy, his son Tayden, his wife Lisa, and Spencer Reimer.
As a reminder, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says that ice is never 100% safe. 4-5 inches of ice is suggested for walking or snowmobiling. 8-12 inches of ice is recommended for cars, and 12-15 inches of ice is recommended for any type of truck.
People are being asked to respect the barricade that is currently on the ice from the removal, and to watch out for the active heave that runs along Diamond Point.