Video captures couple crashing through Lake Winnipeg ice in truck

A Facebook Live video captured the terrifying moment when a couple were forced to jump out of their truck as it broke through frozen Lake Winnipeg.

Ko'ona Cochrane is OK after truck broke through ice, but video is an 'incredibly big bruise on my ego'

A Facebook live video captured the terrifying moment when a couple were forced to jump out of their truck as it broke through frozen Lake Winnipeg. 1:07

Ko'ona Cochrane says her ego is bruised but at least she and her partner are safe after her truck broke through the ice while they were driving across Lake Winnipeg.

Cochrane captured the terrifying moment in a Facebook Live video, which shows the couple jumping out of their truck before it sank into the icy waters near Hecla Island, approximately 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

In the video, you can hear her partner telling her to "bail." 

"That's my life, take that!" Cochrane can be heard yelling, grabbing her belongings before they escaped the truck.

Cochrane and her partner live in Manigotagan, a community on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. They wanted to visit Cochrane's mother in Peguis, located to the west of the lake.

"We figured we would save two hours by going from Manigotagan across the lake," Cochrane told CBC News.

Cochrane said she has seen a lot of ice fishing shacks out on the lake, and the weather had been quite cold. The ice on the lake was at least 36 inches deep, she added.

The couple were driving when they noticed a large crack and decided to go in the opposite direction. 

"But there was another crack there and then next thing you knew our truck went down," she said. 

"My partner slowed down to avoid it but it swallowed the truck."

Ko'ona Cochrane was doing a Facebook Live video the moment the truck crashed through the ice. (Ko'ona Cochrane)

They couldn't open their doors because the truck was already deep in the ice, she said. Water started moving through the engine into the truck's cab, where the couple frantically grabbed what they could save. 

"He got wet but he climbed out through the window into the water. I climbed up over top of the truck," Cochrane said. 

Immediately after escaping the truck she called 911, who put her in touch with RCMP.

A wooden box with some laundry and groceries, which had been in the back of the truck, floated up in the water. But everything else, including the truck, took about a minute to sink, Cochrane said.  

The initial crack which diverted their drive started to bubble with water, so Cochrane and her partner decided to do the hour-long hike to the western shore where they were met by RCMP, conservation officers and an ambulance. 

They were cold but OK — the only thing injured was her pride, Cochrane said.

"[It's a] really, really incredibly big bruise on my ego."

About the Author

Lenard Monkman

Lenard Monkman is Anishinaabe from Lake Manitoba First Nation, Treaty 2 territory. He is the co-founder of independent Indigenous media:Red Rising Magazine. He is currently employed as an Associate Producer for CBC Indigenous.