January 18, 1997 in Idaho

Man’s Body Pulled From Icy Lake Pickup Plunged Off 80-Foot Bank Into Beauty Bay

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Divers Friday pulled the body of a missing man from a pickup submerged in 80 feet of water in Lake Coeur d’Alene.

William Bonds, 39, apparently missed a turn while driving up a hill on state Highway 97, said Kootenai County sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger.

Authorities believe Bonds’ red 1979 Ford plunged down an embankment into icy Beauty Bay late Wednesday night.

The Harrison resident had been drinking that evening at Chillers, a Sherman Avenue bar. He left the bar and was to have met a friend who lives on the lake’s east shore.

When he didn’t arrive at the friend’s house, he was reported missing to Coeur d’Alene Police.

A family friend retraced Bonds’ route, searching for signs of his 18-year-old truck. He noticed tire tracks that went through a knee-high snow berm and over an embankment.

Beyond the dropoff, sheriff’s deputies later found a trail of broken branches, scattered tools and the broken taillight from a Ford truck. But the bay was covered with 5 inches of fresh ice, obscuring any sign of the truck.

“The toughest part is just getting to the ice,” Wolfinger said. “You’ve got 80 feet of bank and then 80 feet of water. And no bank.”

The sheriff’s department dive rescue donned underwater gear and searched the deep bay. Bonds’ body was found almost immediately.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo


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