An incident on a lake near Alexandria, Minn., involving a four-wheeler a month ago has claimed a second life, this one a 2-year-old boy who was riding with his grandfather celebrating his 50th birthday.
Hayden James Minnerath, of Alexandria, died Monday at Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis. He and James Joseph Minnerath broke through the Lake Andrew ice March 3 on a specially equipped ATV, the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.
James Minnerath had turned 50 and was marking the milestone that day by plowing snow in the neighborhood with the ATV before riding on the lake with Hayden, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Jim would often call [Hayden’s parents] Amanda and Ryan and ask if he could take Hayden to his hunting land, go fishing or take rides on the Ranger,” read the family’s CaringBridge Web page for the boy. “In pictures of them together, you can see the obvious joy that they feel in each other’s company. He simply doted on Hayden.”
On March 3, the posting explained, “they plowed the driveway and then went onto Lake Andrew to continue to use the plow. There was an isolated area of weak ice, and they went through.”
Brad Brejcha, a retired sheriff’s sergeant who lives along the lake, walked out on the ice about 200 yards from his home on the northeast shore of the lake and discovered the scene about 8:55 p.m. . The ATV was recovered from water 18 feet deep.
James Minnerath died March 4. He and his brothers have run a general road contracting business in Alexandria for the past 25 years.