2 dead after falling through ice at Lake Poinsett

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the name of the man who died and to correct the age of the boy who died.

LAKE POINSETT – A man and a child have died after an ATV fell through the ice on the north end of Lake Poinsett Saturday evening, according to a post on the Hamlin County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Authorities were called to the scene, south of Stone Bridge, shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday. The Watertown Dispatch Center received a 911 call that an ATV and two individuals had broken through the ice.

“The two individuals were retrieved from the water and taken by Lake Norden Ambulances to Prairie Lakes Hospital in Watertown. At the hospital, the 60-year-old man and the 9-year-old boy were both pronounced dead,” the sheriff’s office post says. 

The man who died has been identified as Michael Berwald of Toronto. The boy who died has not been named.

Also responding to the scene were Hamlin County Emergency Management, Codington Search and Rescue, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Emergency personnel were called to a second incident on Lake Poinsett the same evening, but no one was hurt in that case.

After the first call, “Brookings Dispatch Center received a 911 call that a four-wheeler and shack had broken through the ice and were partially in the water on Lake Poinsett’s northeast region. … No injuries were reported in this incident,” the sheriff’s office reported.

The Hamlin County Sheriff’s Office cautioned anglers on going onto area lakes as ice thickness changes from serval inches to just an inch in a matter of a foot distance. 

“According to the National Weather Service, the area is forecast to see high temperatures above or near freezing through the rest of the week with overnight lows mainly into the 20s. This could continue to create hazardous conditions on Lake Poinsett and other nearby lakes,” the Facebook post said.


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