Driving on ice can be costly joyride

Geez Dad, didn’t we do this when I was a kid?

From the Detroit Free Press

Matt Vermeulen grew up near Lake St. Clair and knows the frozen lake’s slippery ways and how to stay safe. Or so he thought.

On Tuesday, he drove his Tahoe onto what he assumed was solid ice. But without visible indication, the ice thickness was no longer a sturdy 12 inches — instead it was a mere 5 inches that cracked, sending the rear end of his 1997 sport-utility vehicle into the icy water.

“There’s nothing you can do,” said Vermeulen, 25, of Fair Haven. “You just jump out.”

“It’s embarrassing, and very, very expensive,” he said Friday, declining to estimate the cost.

Every winter across Michigan, cars, trucks and other vehicles go crashing through the ice on lakes and rivers. Salvage companies charge thousands of dollars to haul out the vehicles, and drivers can face hefty traffic and environmental penalties.

During Prohibition, bootleggers scooted across the ice from Windsor, but today it’s usually sportsmen or reckless young drivers who may have to make the humiliating admission: “Honey, I sunk the car.”