One dead after ORV drives through hole in lake ice

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CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP, Mich. — One person is dead after an ORV drove through a hole in the ice during the Crystal Lake Winter Fest on Saturday night.orv crash 2

Michigan State Police said four people were riding an ORV across the frozen surface of Crystal Lake around 8 p.m.

Authorities said the driver, 52-year-old Lee Avery,  lost control and broke through a fenced area of the lake being used for a Polar Dip event earlier that day.  The ORV slid into a hole cut in the ice for the event, submersing the ORV and four passengers in the lake.

Two of the riders were able to get out of the water while Avery and a 25-year-old Crystal woman were still submerged.

Troopers said bystanders were able to pull the ORV along with the two passengers out of the water.

Avery was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

The woman was taken to a different hospital and is in critical condition.

The other two passengers were not injured during the crash.

Troopers said it is unknown if alcohol was a factor and the crash remains under investigation.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the woman organizers say was critically injured. Click here to learn more information.

Editorial note:  We previously reported that the ORV fell into a hole carved in the ice for a Polar Plunge event.  The event was actually a Polar Dip, which is in no way related to The Special Olympics or The Polar Plunge.  Our apologies to The Special Olympics for the confusion.  

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