Irony? Chicago salt truck slides on ice into Lake Michigan

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CHICAGO (AP) — Two Chicago Park District workers escaped without serious injury after the salt truck they were navigating along an icy lakefront bike path slid into Lake Michigan Wednesday morning.

The pickup truck hit a slick spot and slipped backward into the water on Chicago’s near North Side around 7:20 a.m., said Dep. District Chief Jason Lach of the Chicago Fire Department Marine Dive Operations. It slid halfway into the water before getting caught on a breakwall.

The two occupants were able to escape the sinking vehicle and crawl to safety, and both are in good condition.

Light snow blanketed the Chicago area early Wednesday, with temperatures at about 17 degrees (-8 Celsius), the National Weather Service said. The snow and cold left a heavy ice build-up along the bike path.

“They were out there salting the area and the truck slid in,” Park District spokeswoman Michelle Lemons told the Chicago Tribune.

The lakefront bike path, which slopes toward the water and is often wet at the point where the accident happened, was closed while crews worked to remove the truck from the water.

“We need to make sure that everyone remembers that with the high lake levels we have right now, the water comes up even higher and up onto the bike path and it might not look like it’s dangerous, but it could still be a sheet of glass where anybody can slide and it’s at an angle here, so you can slide right into the lake, just like this vehicle did,” Lach said.

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