By Andy Banker, ST. LOUIS
It’s about as stuck as stuck can be: a couple of guys testing out a new four-wheel drive Chevy drove over a frozen pond and ended up stuck in sand, ice, and mud on Chouteau Island, just north of Interstate 270 in Madison County, Illinois.
Things got even worse.
“When the lake goes dry in the winter, there’s a lot of temptation for guys to think they can just come out here and go four-wheeling,” said Austin Opp of the Chain of Rocks Recreation Corp.
The ice cracked, the truck got stuck in the mud underneath and was quickly frozen in place.
The group owns the property and uses it for water skiing practice.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen out here. Nobody’s usually dumb enough to try to go out on the lake and he did,” Opp said.
The truck’s owner told Fox2/News 11 a friend was driving just before sunrise; they thought the frozen pond was a frozen field.
“It’s permafrost,” Opp said. “It was frozen hard enough that it held him up for a while then it just collapsed in, which what I’d expect him to do.”
The owner yelled from the passenger seat for his friend to turn back, he said. They were nearly off of the pond when the ice started giving way. The truck’s owner then rented a backhoe to try to fish out his truck. As he got close, an unseen pocket of ice, sand, and mud gave way and down went the backhoe, he said.
Both vehicles remained frozen stuck some two to three feet deep in a spot that will be six to seven feet underwater come spring.