Special to the EagleHerald
A warning sign and barricades mark the end of Maple Beach Road by Lake Noquebay in the Town of Middle Inlet on Sunday. A Green Bay man died Friday after his truck broke through the ice on the lake while he was returning from fishing.
Special to the EagleHerald
A warning sign and barricades mark the end of Maple Beach Road by Lake Noquebay in the Town of Middle Inlet on Sunday. A Green Bay man died Friday after his truck broke through the ice on the lake while he was returning from fishing.

TOWN OF MIDDLE INLET — The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that one man is dead after his truck fell through the ice on Lake Noquebay.

The body of Herbert C. Lax Jr., 79, Green Bay, was recovered by sheriff’s office dive team members early on Saturday in 12 to 13 feet of water off of the end of Maple Beach Road on the north side of the lake. Marinette County Dispatch received a call at 8:55 p.m. Friday evening regarding a vehicle possibly breaking through the ice on Lake Noquebay. The call was made by a fisherman on his way off the lake, who spotted open water and a floating cooler. The fisherman made the call from shore after safely making it off the lake.

Marinette County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the Middle Inlet Fire Department and Crivitz Rescue were dispatched to the scene, as well as the Town of Stephenson Fire Department with their air boat. From the boat with the use of an underwater camera, deputies were able to make out a red truck and the body of a male partially out of the vehicle on the bottom of a 12-feet deep portion of the lake.

Dive team members were later able to recover the body of Lax, who was believed to be alone in his truck at the time of the ice collapse. The Marinette County Deputy Coroner pronounced him dead at the scene, and the investigation into his death is ongoing by the sheriff’s office and coroner. The truck has yet to be removed from the lake.

Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said no foul play is suspected in the incident. According to the sheriff’s office’s timeline, Lax likely was out fishing and sought to leave the lake after dark, but broke through the ice on his trip inland around 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

Sauve warned the public that the section of Lake Noquebay where the incident occurred is a dangerous area, due to Middle Inlet Creek’s flow into the lake near Maple Beach Road. The creek flow is causing the ice to become very thin in a large area near the incident scene.

“It’s deceivingly dangerous,” he said. “It looks like you could drive out there and be fine, but you could all of a sudden be on just one inch of ice.”

For now, barrier tape and a warning sign have been placed across the end of Maple Beach Road by the lake, and cones are in place around the open water where the truck broke through the ice. According to Sauve, further barricades are in the works.

“It’s a tragedy,” he said. “Folks need to be careful.”