AP News | by DP News Team | January 2, 2023
SMITHFIELD, Maine (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of a Maine man who died after the UTV he was driving broke through the ice covering a pond early Sunday.
Jeremiah Meader, 42, was riding in the UTV with his wife and two others across North Pond in Smithfield around 1 a.m. on Sunday when the vehicle broke through the ice, officials say.
Meader’s wife and the two others were able to get out of the vehicle before it went underwater, but Meader was unable to, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. His friend tried to dive down to find him, but wasn’t able to reach him, officials said.
Fog and darkness prevented Meader’s wife and the two others from finding their way off the ice and they had to be rescued by emergency responders around 2:30 a.m. Rescuers were initially unable to find Meader in the water but resumed searching around 7 a.m. and divers recovered his body.
“Ice conditions vary greatly across the state, and everyone needs to check the ice before heading out,” Game Warden Sergeant Josh Bubier said in an emailed statement. “While in some areas, the ice may be thick enough, in other areas, it can be dangerously thin.”