Mar

31

Brett Lobajeski’s effort to help save his brother’s truck Sunday, cost him his own vehicle.

Lobajeski said he saw his brother, Robert, break through the ice near Clarence’s Harbor at the south end of Lake Winnebago, and returned to try to help him. But his front tires also broke through the ice about 100 feet from his brother’s vehicle.

Robert Lobajeski’s truck was bridged above the water by its plow and rear bumper.

“We were finished riding (motorcycles) for the day and I was out picking up the cones to get them back on the truck,” Robert Lobajeski said. “I just drove off the track and my truck sunk. I sat there stuck and I had him come out and to try and pull me out real quick. He just did a U-turn and his truck got stuck.”

The two brothers were assisted by snowmobilers on the ice and rescue personnel included members of the Otter Street fishing club who were on the lake removing ramps Sunday. The trucks weren’t far from recommended driving paths, but weather that was in the 50s appeared to have caused ice in the area to soften and become fragile.

Snowmobilers, ATVs and other trucks were also operating in the vicinity at the time the Lobajeskis’ vehicles became trapped.

“He crawled through the window, but mine wasn’t down far enough where I couldn’t get out,” Robert Lobajeski said. “I wasn’t scared at all.”

About about two hours after the brothers escaped from the trucks, the front end of Brett Lobajeski’s vehicle slipped under the water as crews attempted to pull it from the hole.

Brett Lobajeski said that his vehicle, which he uses to drive to work, is unlikely to function.

At about 5 p.m., Robert Lobajeski’s vehicle still remained above water.

Contact Carlos Munoz at cmunoz@gannett.com or (920) 907-7921; Twitter @ReadCarlos.

2 trucks fall through ice on south end of Lake Winnebago | Action Reporter Media | fdlreporter.com.