Gallery: Car Falls Through Ice On Gray’s Bay
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The two people who were hospitalized after their car fell through the ice Saturday in a channel between Gray’s Bay and Wayzata Bay on Lake Minnetonka have died, according to authorities.
Harland Dietrich, 31, and Mary Ann Haram, 87, both from Maple Grove, died on Saturday at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Dietrich placed a 911 call around 2:25 p.m. on Saturday, stating his car was in Lake Minnetonka and it was sinking. Several crews responded.
Dietrich was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition and Haram was later transported by ambulance in the same condition.
The pair were in 8 to 10 feet of water for more than an hour, and were unconscious and unresponsive when rescuers brought them to the surface.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office says the incident was an accident and that they died from drowning.
Shawn Heim, a close friend of Dietrich, and knew Dietrich since he was 16 years old.
“He was one of the most generous, selfless people I’ve ever met,” Heim said.
According to friends, Dietrich will be remembered for his love of the Vikings and for his devotion to his grandmother.
Logan Brus said Haram was the most important person in her grandson’s life.
“To look back and see the relationship he was able to have with his grandma was absolutely remarkable,” Brus said.
The two lived together. They loved to travel, and Dietrich spent each Saturday with Haram on some kind of new adventure.
Dietrich’s friends think he may have been showing his grandmother the large homes on Lake Minnetonka Saturday afternoon, not realizing the danger.
“His first thought was probably to call 911. After that, it was definitely grandma,”said Bryan Swanson, Dietrich’s best friend.
Dietrich started living with his grandmother when he was a young teenager. He was currently working at Crave Restaurant at the Shoppes at West End. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
According to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office, this is the 14th incident this winter of a car going through the ice on Lake Minnetonka.
Deputies remind drivers to always wear a life jacket while walking or driving a car, truck or snowmobile on frozen lakes. And channels should be avoided altogether. They often appear to be frozen, but the flowing water causes the ice to be weak.
A benefit account has been set up for Harland and Mary Ann, called the “Harland Dietrich Memorial Fund.” You can contribute at any area Wells Fargo Bank.