Thin ice and all-terrain vehicles made for a dangerous combination several times over the weekend in greater Minnesota, with one incident in Hubbard County turning deadly.
Rose Peterson, 60, of Brooklyn Park, died Saturday evening after she and two family members traveling in an ATV fell through thin ice on Kabekona Lake, about 8 miles northwest of Walker.
Riding in the ATV with Peterson were her husband, Kenneth, and a 29-year-old daughter, while her 36-year-old son and another family member followed on snowmobiles. Peterson's son pulled all three out of the water after the ATV plunged into about 18 feet of water.
Peterson was unresponsive when her son performed CPR on the ice and after first responders from Lakeport Township met the family back at their cabin. She was transported to a Bemidji hospital and later airlifted to Fargo, where she was pronounced dead.
There were no reported injuries in three similar incidents over the weekend involving thin ice and ATVs in Minnesota, but officials warned the public to be cautious when venturing out on frozen lakes as conditions and thickness vary.
Two adults in their 40s were able to escape a submerged ATV on Saturday evening while traveling on the north end of Two Rivers Lake, south of Holdingford. They took shelter in a nearby icehouse, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office said.
About 3:20 p.m. the same day, a 46-year-old man driving an ATV broke through the ice near the point of Norway and Little Norway lakes northwest of Spicer, according to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office. A fishing partner was able to help the man out of the water.
Kandiyohi officials had responded to a report of an ATV breaking through ice on the northwest part of Games Lake, not far from Norway Lake, around 2 p.m. Friday. A 60-year-old man was able to climb out of the water and walk back to his cabin, officials said.
About an hour later in Douglas County, sheriff's deputies responded to Betsy Ross Point on Lake Ida, north of Alexandria, where an ATV broke through thin ice that had been marked by the Douglas County Dive Team. Officials said a nearby fisherman helped the 94-year-old driver of the ATV out of the water.
Chief Deputy Julie Wyffels of the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said it's up to individuals to use caution and common sense on the ice since neither state nor local authorities are out measuring ice thickness.
"People need to realize that the ice thickness varies from spot to spot," she said. "Each lake is different. Some have natural springs which tend to make the ice thinner in spots. Some lakes were frozen over but now have open water."
Wyffels said people can walk with a spike ahead of them to gauge ice depth. She said ATVs and snowmobiles add a lot more weight and need at least 5 to 7 inches of ice to safely travel on frozen lakes.
"Some lakes don't have enough ice to be walking," she said. "If you're out on the lake, hopefully you're prepared for whatever you encounter."
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has an ice safety section online with tips and guidelines, including how to survive immersion.
Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751