One dead after vehicle goes through ice on Lake Bemidji

A vehicle drove through the ice on Lake Bemidji on Christmas Eve, with one of two occupants not surviving the incident.

According to a release from Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel, an adult female was able to escape the frigid waters on her own and was immediately transported to Sanford Bemidji’s ER.

A male was unaccounted for and was found submerged under the ice.

A Bemidji Fire Department firefighter was able to recover the male from the water, lifesaving efforts were performed and he was ultimately flown to Sanford Fargo, but was later pronounced dead.

The vehicle went through the ice near Diamond Point Park, and deputies estimate ice thickness to be about four or five inches.

The area has since barricaded and the ice in the area is unstable, much like other area lakes.

No other information was available at this time.

The Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by the Bemidji Police Department and Bemidji Ambulance Service.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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