Two people have died after falling through ice at Winchester Lake in Lewiston, Idaho. The Lewiston Fire Department responded to Winchester Lake Friday morning around 11:26 a.m. The Lewis County Sheriff's Office requested assistance, and the Nez Perce County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team was also dispatched to the scene.
The two men were removed from the water before Lewiston fire crews arrived, but firefighters were able to help with patient treatment. Life Flight then transported the people St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho. The two men later succumbed to hypothermia at the hospital.
The victims have been identified as 79-year-old David Kries and 73-year-old Roger Ward. Both men were experienced ice fisherman from the Kamiah area. According to Ward's wife, they had both been ice fishing at Winchester Lake on Monday and had no problems.
Lewis County Sheriff Brian Brokop said he knew both men to be avid fisherman. “this is a tragedy and our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the wives and families,” Brokop said in a release. He also said rescue efforts were dangerous because of thin ice. “The ice was so thin it was almost transparent and the thin ice made rescue efforts extremely difficult. The men fell through out in the center of the lake. The ice may have been okay a few days ago but the quick change with warmer weather made it extremely dangerous. I am asking everyone to please stay off the ice on the lake.”