January 7, 1995 in Washington Voices

Skaters Fall Through Lake Ice, Man Suffers Mild Hypothermia

Alison Boggs Staff Writer
 

A father and daughter fell through the ice while skating at Newman Lake on Monday afternoon.

Donald Stier suffered mild hypothermia and was assisted by paramedics from Newman Lake Fire District, said Chief Bud Clow.

The two were skating about 3 p.m. when the daughter, Shirley Bailey, “went through, not very deep, to her shoes and socks,” Clow said.

But Stier, “went clear in,” Clow said. After falling into the water, Stier scrambled up on the ice, then fell back in. He was in the water about 20 minutes, before he was pulled out with a cable, Clow said.

Ray Lawr was working with his father painting a house beside the lake when he heard the commotion. He ran down to the lake and saw a man lying on his back, submerged in icy water from his mid-torso down.

Lawr ran down the beach and found a cable used to hold a dock to the shore. He tossed Stier the cable and pulled him out, then gave the man his coat.

“(Stier) was shaking very bad,” Clow said. “If someone hadn’t seen him when they did, he wouldn’t have lasted much longer. It took an hour for him to stop shivering.”

Lawr said Stier had bloodied his hand trying to break a path through the ice to a dock.

“He said he’d been skating on the lake all his life and it was the first time he’d gone in,” Lawr said.

Some Newman Lake residents say the unseasonably warm weather has made the lake too dangerous for skaters.

Clow said he’d seen people riding on three-wheelers on the lake.

“It’s been so warm,” said Wendy Burley, a long-term resident. “What ice we had was real iffy. We had geese landing near our place. It was definitely open water.”


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