Truck Breakthrough on Seymour Lake, Morgan Vermont
Two fishermen escaped from a truck after it broke through the ice early on February 2, 2013. I did not get over the visit the lake until March 9, just before the end of the ice fishing season. I spoke to a group of fishermen who were pulling off their shanties. They said the lake (which is mostly over 120 feet deep) had a large open area that lasted until after January 17th.
The truck broke through on the new ice that formed on that open water over the winter's big cold spell from January 21-29. There was also a strong, two day thaw that ended less that ended about 30 hours before the accident. The thaw had temps up to 48 degrees and winds up to 48 mph in nearby Newport. The thaw created all sorts of problems with the ice on the Inland Sea on Lake Champlain which came in about the same time as the last open water on Lake Seymour. One of the main problems on Lake Champlain was the creation of many large puddle holes by the warm and powerful wind.
Speculatively, it is reasonable to think the new ice got thick enough to support a truck in the cold spell from January 21-29 but the thaw probably have left puddle holes in this ice which probably skinned over promptly (as the holes did on Lake Champlain). The skin probably had enough time after the thaw to grow to 2-3 inches thick. Many of the skins on the Lake Champlain holes were opaque white from blowing snow catching in the open water before it froze. This can look like a snow drift.