1 dead, 1 hospitalized after ORV falls into Montcalm Co. lake

An ORV fell into a Montcalm County lake on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — One person was killed and one was hospitalized after an off-road vehicle fell through the ice on a Montcalm County lake.

It happened after the fireworks at Crystal Lake Winter Fest Saturday night, around 8:20.

An ATV fell into a Montcalm County lake on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.
(The scene following the crash.)

A Michigan State Police sergeant told 24 Hour News 8 the vehicle had four people on it when it drove across the frozen lake and through an area that was fenced off.  It went through the ice where a hole was made for a polar dip that was held Saturday for the festival.

Bystanders were able to partially pull the submerged vehicle out of the water using a tow strap and pickup truck.

Michigan State Police confirm the driver, 52-year-old Lee Avery, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“Lee was the type of person to help anybody,” said Darrell Currier, who grew up with Avery. “So he’s going to be really greatly missed.”

Avery’s front-seat passenger, a 25-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The two other people who were on the vehicle are said to be OK. Aero Med was called to the scene.

Authorities said the people on the vehicle had been riding around the lake all day, and conditions were safe to do so.

“Everybody was out here, cars was getting brave and going out on the ice and they were spinning donuts everybody was just having a good time,” Currier said.

The crash is under investigation, and authorities are not sure whether alcohol was a factor.

The vehicle was removed sometime Sunday.

–24 Hour News 8’s Heather Walker contributed to this report.

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