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Lake Ponderosa Search Continues

MONTEZUMA, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Around Lake Ponderosa, the homes are close and some say the neighbors are even closer. The lake, in all seasons, is a place for them to have fun.

"Oh it's the center of our activity. It's what everybody's here for, said local resident Dennis Sadler.

So it was a pretty common sight when Sadler spotted the man who would later fall through the ice driving an All-Terrain Vehicle on the frozen ice.

"The gentleman that went in, was fishing right straight across over here. They were fishing out there all day. There were two of them out there, said Sadler.

Witnesses say the man and his vehicle fell through the ice at about six oclock last night. Search and rescue operations went on until about two oclock early this morning.

The search stopped when rescue equipment kept freezing. The recovery effort picked up this afternoon without much more success.

"Some people went out and we lowered a camera into the water to just check the situation out and how the first team of divers is going into the water, said Montezuma Fire Departments Dave Arendt.

The camera found the mans ATV but there was no sign of him, so the search goes on. Even for a community that centers around activities on the lake in all weather, this sort of tragedy just never happens.

"It sets us back because it's the first person I've ever known that has died at this lake, said Sadler.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time here at Lake Ponderosa, said Arendt.

It means next time, and probably for a while after that, what happened yesterday will be on everyones minds.

"It can't stop everything but this will be something we think about for a long time to come, said Sadler.
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