Vehicle falls through ice into Lake Wausau

A vehicle sits partially submerged in Lake Wausau. (1/1/20 WSAW Photo)

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) It wasn't the start to 2020 that angler Dan Petroski was hoping for.

"It's not a crap day, I caught some fish," said Petroski, "but this, it ain't good."

He's referring to his SUV that sits half-submerged in Lake Wausau, less than 100 yards off the point at D.C. Everest Park. He said he had been driving along the same path for the past two days.

"We were just thinking we broke through the slush, because we had all that rain and slush on top of the ice," said Petroski. "We opened the door, water started flooding in, and then it started slowly going down."

Petroski and his father were both able to get out of the vehicle without injury. As for the SUV itself, it's seen better days.

"The car is pretty much junk," added Petroski. "When it first started sinking slowly, the lights were flickering on and off so I have a feeling the electrical is fried and it's not good."

The Wausau Fire Department was made aware of the situation around noon on Wednesday. They didn't respond because it wasn't an emergency and everyone was safe.

According to officials, it is the owner's responsibility to remove the vehicle from the water. If not done in a timely matter, Petroski could receive a fine from the DNR.

If a snowmobile comes by at night or anything and hits it, I'm liable for it," said Petroski. "I'm going to tape it off to make sure everyone knows and can see it."

He says he is speaking with several tow companies in the area to see who will remove the vehicle. While the situation is unfortunate, he's keeping things in perspective.

"A truck is just a truck," said Petroski. "That's just material items. Everybody is safe and that's all that matters."

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