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2 people and dog escape from truck that broke through ice on Valley lake

Two people and a dog escaped from a truck Friday afternoon before it slipped through ice into a Matanuska Valley lake, according to witness and official reports.

Megan Peters, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman, wrote in an email that troopers received a report and there were no injuries in the accident.

Ken Dunlop, club manager at the nearby Palmer Elks Lodge, said that while decorating the lodge for the holidays, he looked over at Finger Lake and noticed that the front of a red truck was partially submerged in ice and surrounded by snow.

Two people and a dog emerged from the truck. While they walked to the lodge, Dunlop said, he watched the truck fall into the lake. They told Dunlop they escaped through a back window.

"We invited them in and got them some coffee," Dunlop said. They called troopers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Gay Harpole, environmental program specialist with DEC, said she also was alerted and will work with the truck's owners to remove the vehicle from the lake. She said the truck contained little fuel. The only risk, she said, was oil spilling out into the water.

But it will be some time before the truck is removed, she said.

"The ice is going to have to be thick enough so we can get a tow truck in there or a crane. It's not going to be right away," she said.

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