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Gladstone man drowns when his ORV falls through ice in Delta County

ESCANABA, MI— One person drowned when their side-by-side broke through ice on the Escanaba River Saturday.

Deputies from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched around 7:10 a.m. to an area near the power plant. They say Joe Demeuse, 65, of Gladstone and a passenger were riding on the ice when they fell into the river. Officials believe they either hit a pressure crack or an area of open water that had refrozen with a thin layer of ice.

Anglers who were on the ice pulled the passenger from the water. The passenger was wearing a flotation suit, but Demeuse wasn’t.

The Sheriff’s Office Dive team arrived a short time later and recovered Demeuse’s body.

The passenger was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.