HARRISON — Three vehicles plunged through the ice into Lake Winnebago in Calumet County on Saturday morning, leaving one person dead.
Authorities urged people to use extreme caution if they travel on the lake. Ice conditions are very poor because of this past week’s warm weather.
The victim is a 59-year-old man from the Appleton area, whose vehicle was submergbed in about 16 feet of water. He was rescued by the Winnebago County dive team and taken to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, where he died, according to Sgt. Mark Wiegert, an investigator for the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department.
The victim’s name was withheld pending notification of relatives.
Emergency crews from both Calumet and Winnebago counties were called to the lake in the area of Waverly Beach before 8 a.m.
Calumet County Sheriff Mark Ott said dispatchers took several calls about a vehicle going through the ice.
“After we got the first one, we ended up having three in the lake,” he said.
Two passengers in one of the vehicles escaped on their own.
The drivers of the other two vehicles also escaped on their own.
Rescuers Saturday were also called to the lake off of Faro Springs Road near Stockbridge. There, the front half of a pickup truck crashed through the ice.
Lt. Brandon Poehlein of the Stockbridge Community Fire Department said no one was injured, and the incident didn’t require dive team response.
Saturday’s incidents occurred in the midst of the 16-day sturgeon spearing season, and following a week of warm temperatures and strong Friday winds.
Ott said deputies can’t keep people off of the lake, but recommended that people do so.
“We want folks to know the lake has deteriorated and continues to deteriorate with weather,” he said.