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Ice Fisher Dies After Falling Through Ice In Dewitt County

A fisherman fell through thin ice Saturday in rural Dewitt County and died.

An ice fisherman has died after falling through the ice at a farm pond in rural Dewitt County.

The Wapella Fire Department said it responded Saturday afternoon to the Swisher Hill area. Darkness interrupted the search. It resumed at daylight Sunday morning. Emergency workers recovered the body Sunday afternoon.

The Dewitt County coroner's office identified the man Monday morning as Thomas While, 79, of rural Dewitt.

Wapella firefighters said a number of agencies helped them, including Clinton Fire, Heyworth Fire, DeWitt County EMS, and the Cornbelt Fire (Mahomet) Dive Team, the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department, McLean Fire and Rescue, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police, which brought sonar equipment.

Another person ice fishing with the man escaped injury and called 911.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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