CT residents end up in frozen VT lake while using app - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT residents end up in frozen VT lake while using app

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A car full of people from Connecticut drove onto frozen Lake Champlain in VT and fell through the ice. (WCAX/CNN) A car full of people from Connecticut drove onto frozen Lake Champlain in VT and fell through the ice. (WCAX/CNN)
BURLINGTON, VT (WFSB) -

A group of people from Connecticut ended up in Vermont's Lake Champlain after following a GPS smartphone app down a boat launch and onto the frozen water.

The vehicle's owner, Tara Guertin, said she was speechless when her friends called her to tell her that they had driven her car into the lake earlier this month.

"My first thing was 'is everybody ok' because this could have had a very bad ending and luckily everybody was all right," Guertin told WCAX out of Burlington, VT.

The people in the car were using the navigation app Waze. 

Channel 3 did some digging and found navigation systems are the biggest culprit when it comes to distracted driving, especially programming it.

According to AAA, it takes an average of 40 seconds to punch in directions and in that time a car going 25 miles an hour will have traveled four football fields.

The car ended up sinking below the surface through the ice.

Guertin said she had to call diver Pierre Larocque to bring it out.

He had to go completely into the water.

"Typically when a vehicle goes through the ice it goes down nose first the weight of the engine takes it down," Larocque said.

He said his crew hooked lifts back to it and picked it straight up. They then moved it to a place where they had easier access to it.

Larocque said he doesn't remove a lot of vehicles from the ice in the wintertime. However, the location of this one was a problem.

"You wouldn't want to leave it there, I mean it's right in the opening of the Coast Guard station," he said. "So anything that's deep, draft boats, vessels, even their buoys tender coming in and out is going to hit it. So it's got to go away. It can't stay there, but you wouldn't want to leave things like that in the lake just for environmental reasons."

Guertin said she is just happy it's over.

"I'm like amazed. And I think I'm going to have to buy him a bottle of something when he's done," she said.

The drivers, who have not yet been identified, are not facing charges, according to local police.

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