A man in his 30’s and an elderly woman, both from Maple Grove, died on February 2 at HCMC. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified the victims as Harland Dietrich, 31, and Mary Ann Haram, 87, residents of 98th Place N., Maple Grove.
At approximately 2:25 p.m. Saturday, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Facility received a 911 call from the man who stated that his car was in Lake Minnetonka and it was sinking. Wayzata Fire Department, Wayzata Police, Minnetonka Fire, Minnetonka Fire, HCMC Ambulance, North Memorial Air Care, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office responded. The incident took place under the Gray’s Bay Bridge in a channel of the lake.
The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered the man from the submerged car and he was flown by helicopter to HCMC. A short time later, the elderly woman was recovered and transported by ambulance to HCMC.
The Sheriff’s Office reminds residents that it is extremely dangerous to drive or walk on channels and pressure ridges on Lake Minnetonka. Channels and pressure ridges should be avoided. There have been 14 incidents in which a vehicle or snowmobile has broken through the ice on Lake Minnetonka in 2013. With the exception of one incident, all of the incidents have taken place on channels or pressure ridges.
On all of the county’s lakes, freezing and thawing have created variable ice conditions and caution is recommended. People on foot, snowmobiles, or ATVs should use safety precautions such as wearing life jackets. No ice should ever be considered completely safe.