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Man dies after falling through thinning pond ice

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A 43-year-old man has died after falling through the ice on a Burnsville pond, KARE 11 reports.

Brett Alan Stroud was found face down in the water at Sunset Pond Park Monday afternoon, Burnsville Fire Chief BJ Jungmann tells the station.

According to KARE, police say he is from Hastings despite an address listed in Savage.

The Dakota County Sheriff's Office said the Burnsville Fire Department removed the victim from the water. He was taken to a hospital in a "very serious" condition. The sheriff's office is investigating, along with the City of Burnsville.

According to the Pioneer Press, Chief Deputy Tim Leslie said the man was alone, and what he was doing out on the pond isn't yet known. KARE reports the ice was only about an inch thick at the time the victim fell through.

Leslie said earlier Tuesday the incident should serve as a reminder that residents shouldn't try to walk or drive on the ice at this point.

The DNR offers thickness guidelines for being on a frozen lake.

2 inches or less – STAY OFF

4 inches – Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5 inches – Snowmobile or ATV

8-12 inches – Car or small pickup

12- 15 inches – Medium truck

The agency suggests contacting local bait shops or resorts about current ice conditions before heading out, and checking ice thickness yourself once on location. The DNR says cars, pickups and SUVs should be parked at least 50 feet apart and moved every two hours to prevent sinking.

The agency also suggests making a hole next to the car. If water starts to overflow the top of the hole, the ice is sinking and the vehicle should be moved.

Two Wisconsin brothers escaped a similar scary situation earlier this week when both of their trucks went through the ice on Lake Winnebago.

Robert Lobajeski’s pickup went in first. His sibling Brett Lobajeski saw it all happen and drove his own vehicle over to help – only to see his truck’s front tires go through the ice about 100 feet before he got to Robert. Both were rescued by people nearby.

As spring slowly sweeps over the Midwest and warmer temps melt the solid ice, the Minnesota DNR preemptively warned about spurts of cool weather not making ice suddenly safe. Ice in the metro was described was “deteriorating rapidly,” and thickness levels vary from one area to the next.

“While we have had temperatures in the 20s or 30s that does not mean the ice on a lake, pond or river is safe,” said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist.

Before Tuesday, the DNR said two people have died this winter after falling through ice – both fishermen.

“The bottom line is it‘s crucial that people do not let their guard down and recognize ice is never 100 percent safe,” Owens said.

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