Driver speaks out after vehicle recovered from Last Mountain Lake
After nearly five weeks, the white hatchback that became the talk of the town in Regina Beach, Sask. has been pulled out of Last Mountain Lake.
It was a terrifying ordeal for Nicholas Lewis whose vehicle fell through the ice at the beginning of March after a day of ice fishing with his family.
“It looked like I was going over a snow bank and I heard this crunching that I’ve never heard before driving on the ice and my vehicle stopped,” Lewis said. “My first reaction was ‘get out of the vehicle.'”
He had his wife in the passenger seat and his three younger brothers in the back, but everyone managed to get out safely.
“It was just this one spot that appeared to be very thin,” Lewis explained. “We had dug several holes in several areas that all showed the ice was quite thick.”
Locals in the area say most people know to avoid driving on parts of the lake, but Lewis said he didn’t see any signs in the area warning drivers.
“There were lots of vehicles, lots of people on the ice,” Lewis said. “Where we went through the ice not thirty feet to the left of us, there was a cluster of four ice shacks and three half tons there so it was very deceiving.”
While the incident happened at the beginning of March, it took almost five weeks for the vehicle to be recovered.
“The conditions are always a factor when you’re talking about ice and weather conditions that may be unsafe for anyone to approach, including anyone who is going to extricate a vehicle,” SGI Communications Consultant, Jennifer Rathwell said.
However, Global News spoke with TRK Towing who said a hold up with SGI caused a delay in the recovery, but SGI won’t comment on this specific case.
“I was kind of stuck in the middle of this fight between two people trying to figure out what’s going on,” Lewis said. “Meanwhile, I’m stuck without a vehicle.”
TRK Towing has pulled 13 vehicles out of ice this winter, the highest number it’s seen in nearly four years.
Lewis hopes his story prompts local officials to consider putting up warning signs next season.
“Nobody wants to fall through the ice, that’s almost every fisherman’s biggest fear,” Lewis said. “There’s so many opportunities to use signs or something like that, that the dividends would be amazing.”