Fairbanks residents plunge into icy Chena

Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FAIRBANKS - Two Fairbanks residents took surprise dips Sunday in the icy Chena River. Both escaped without serious injury.

Alaska State Troopers say 60-year-old Frank Therrell was driving a snowmobile on the river just before 1 a.m. and swerved to avoid a patch of open water. He hit a stump or the river bank and was thrown into the water.

A neighbor heard his cries for help.

Therrell spent about 10 minutes in the water but escaped with help from a rope tossed to him by troopers.

Officers also responded to a pickup that broke through ice near the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge at about 9:30 a.m. Forty-year-old Jaime Wicken made it to shore without assistance.

The high in Fairbanks on Sunday was 13 degrees and the low was 6 below zero.

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