Truck fished from county lake

Staff reporter

It's one of those embarrassing moments in a person's life when you wished no one saw what happened.

Well, no one probably saw it when it happened but it sure drew a lot of attention Friday at Marion County Lake after a pickup truck rolled into the lake and authorities tried to retrieve it.

Oris Schrag, 49, Newton, had parked his 1985 Toyota pickup near the heated fishing dock at the county lake at about 9:20 a.m. Friday and went onto the dock for a relaxing day of fishing.

In a few minutes, he told authorities that he heard a noise and realized that his truck had rolled into the lake.

Authorities were notified and the search began in locating the vehicle.

Not an easy task in 24-foot deep, muddy water.

Neil Whitaker of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Marvin Peterson of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks arrived with a boat in an attempt to find the sunken vehicle.

When the truck was found, a round, orange buoy marked the spot. The next task was to find divers who were willing to dive to the truck and hook a chain to it so it could be pulled from the lake.

Also not an easy task. Because it wasn't a human rescue, the incident was more of a retrieval of property and not of immediate concern.

About 1:30 p.m., a team of three divers arrived from Augusta. They donned their insulated suits and were in the water by 2 p.m.

Amazingly the water was 59 degrees, warmer than most anticipated.

When the truck was located, a diver indicated that the vehicle was on its top.

By 2:20 p.m., the divers had the chain hooked onto the truck. Slowly the winch on Darvin Markley's wrecker pulled the amphibian-for-a-day from the mud-bottom lake.

Wheels in the air and its underbelly revealed, the truck slowly was dragged across the bank and out of the water.

Marion County Sanitation/Environmental Health Director Bobbi Strait stood by, ready to respond if any oil or fuel leaked from the vehicle.

It was not a good day of fishing for the visitor from Newton.

All that was caught was his truck.