STILLWATER — A ticket was issued after all in connection with a pickup truck that spent a week at the bottom of Saratoga Lake.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed Monday that Richard Hernandez, 27, of Stillwater, was issued a ticket Friday for polluting waters in contravention of standards, a misdemeanor answerable in Town Court. The ticket was issued after the investigating environmental conservation officer said a sheen was found on the water after the truck was removed.
The pickup truck that broke through the ice before sinking in Saratoga Lake was removed the weekend of Feb. 2, after about a week in the water, and DEC officials initially said they did not anticipate any tickets.
The diesel pickup truck was removed after a dive team from Lake George used floation devices to raise the vehicle and then ramp it onto safe ice.
DEC said environmental conservation officers received a report on Sunday, Jan. 27 about a vehicle through the ice about a half-mile from Brown's Beach, with its front wheels stuck in a pressure crack in the ice.
Images: Crews work to remove truck from Saratoga Lake, Feb. 2, 2019
DEC said its officers determined the vehicle had actually gotten stuck the night before. The unidentified owner and a friend returned at 2 a.m. Sunday with a full-sized pickup truck to try to free the first vehicle, but the second vehicle broke through the ice and sank. Both occupants were able to escape and returned to shore safely.
The men returned during daylight hours and were able to get the first truck off the ice but could not find the second truck. A search eventually found it submerged about a quarter-mile from shore. Initial attempts to remove it were unsuccessful and were then suspended during a week of bitter cold temperatures.
The southern part of the lake is popular with ice fishermen, who, when the ice is thick enough, sometimes drive onto the ice.