Three die on thin ice

In the northern latitudes, when winter comes, one can expect ice to form on top of local rivers and lakes. Many people enjoy going out on the ice to walk, skate, fish, and even drive across them. However, when you go out too early, and the ice isn’t thick enough to support your weight, then you run the risk of breaking the ice, falling through, and not being able to get out.

Three people died Friday in two separate accidents on ice-covered ponds in eastern Wisconsin.

In Cedar Grove, Wis., about 40 miles (64km) north of Milwaukee, Megan Obbink, 9, was skating on the ice on a local pond when she fell through. Her father, Brian Obbink, 44, went out to try to save her, but he too fell in. Both drowned, and rescuers pulled out their bodies Friday evening.

The ice was reported to be less than 3 inches (76mm) thick.

In a separate accident in Lyndon, Wis., about 10 miles (16km) northwest of Cedar Grove, Cody Lechler, 12, was riding an all-terrain vehicle across an ice-covered pond when he and the vehicle fell through. Rescuers recovered his body late Friday. He had been out hunting with an adult neighbor who was unnamed in news reports.

Today we have two Stupid People of the Day: Brian Obbink, who allowed his daughter to die needlessly, and then died himself; and the unnamed adult who will have to live with Cody’s death for the rest of his life.

“There is no such thing as safe ice,’ said Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Opgenorth.

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