Pickup truck stuck 'on' Brookline lake after running into slush

BROOKLINE – Several men who drove a plow truck onto Lake Potanipo last weekend had planned to clear the area for snowmobile racing.

Instead, they found themselves fishing for their stranded truck.

After hitting a section of slush, the wheels of their truck broke through the ice and stuck there. Almost a week later, the plow truck remains in place, propped up on four vertical timbers, hanging over the ice.

“They’ve been unable to get free,” said Todd Szewczyk, a conservation officer for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Town police contacted Fish and Game following the mishap, a routine referral when a winter sporting outing runs amok.

Szewczyk said he usually receives one such call a year.

He said it has been at least a dozen years since he witnessed a truck sink to the bottom of a lake, a situation that comes with a liability and a fine. According to state law, the driver of such a vehicle must pay a fine for the potential environmental impact that is likely to result.

The Lake Potanipo incident occurred above water, except for the wheels fixed in the icy slush. It’s unclear if there will be any fine associated with the stranded vehicle.

Neighbors say the driver has been attempting to release the truck from the lake’s icy clutches. But so far, it hasn’t budged.

Selectman Clarence Farwell, who lives near the lake, said he’d heard that the would-be racers went to a nearby home seeking assistance Sunday night.

He didn’t see the truck get stuck, he said, but since then, he has viewed it from his window.

“It’s worth going down to take a look at,” Farwell said.

Szewczyk urged the public to view the truck-fishing expedition as a cautionary tale.

“Use caution on foot, in a vehicle, a snowmobile,” he said. “Check the ice.”