EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Just this weekend, a truck fell into the ice at Heritage Park in East Longmeadow; a reminder that even though winter has arrived, the ice isn’t thick enough for many types of activities.
East Longmeadow Deputy Fire Chief Ben Cote told 22News that on Saturday, a group of young people from the West Springfield area came to Heritage Park to play hockey in an open area of the pond, so they drove their pickup truck onto the ice. The ice cracked under the weight, and the truck’s two front tires blew out, and the truck sank somewhat.
By the time the firefighters got there, the teens were safely out of the truck.
Ice is not perfectly solid around a pond or river- it gets thinner around the edges, which makes it easier for a person- or a heavy object such as a truck- to fall through.
22News spoke with members of the Longmeadow Fire Department Monday, who told 22News that the ice has to be a certain thickness before you can venture out on it.
“Usually a minimum of 4-6 inches for one person. That doesn’t include ice fishing gear or hockey gear, that’s just for one person,” Mike Nottie of the Longmeadow Fire Department said.
To drive a car onto the ice, it should be at a thickness of 8-10”, with 12-15” needed for a large truck.
Cote said that the ice at Heritage Park was only 3” thick on Saturday, when the accident happened. A signboard at the park currently reads “unsafe ice.”
If you do happen to fall on the ice, it only takes minutes for your body to lose feeling. Stay calm, because if you panic, your body may submerge faster. Wait for help, and don’t try to get yourself out of the pond, because the ice is thin, and will break easier.
Also, if you choose to venture out on the ice, don’t go it alone; take someone with you.