I joined the forum not too long ago, and I figure I might as well start my first thread here with a doozy.
I recently bought my first Taco (end of Oct. '12). I put a Bilstein leveling kit on it with some Toyo A/T II 285's, some nerf bars, yadda yadda. I absolutely love(d) the truck. It's my first new vehicle ever, and I've worked my ass off to get it.
So I went home to Maine over Christmas to see some family and all that good stuff. While I was up there, I was hanging out with old cronies and havin' a good ol' time.
The day/night I drove up, it was snowing up there like crazy. It snowed about a foot or so during the evening and into the night. Said cronies and I were all out at the one bar in town downing some brewskis and throwing darts. We rolled back to one of the friend's houses to relax and drink some more beers. After being on the road all day, it was a great way to end the day and chill out. I even managed some time to do some donuts in the fresh powder, break in the new truck a bit.
So about 5AM, my buddy Jack nudges me, says he can't sleep and wants to know if I want to go do some offroading on the golf course. We have this old golf course in the back of the neighborhood we grew up in that went out of business years ago, and nobody ever did anything with it, it just got overgrown and was left as is. There's some high tension power lines that run up through there, and some good off road trails. So we hit the road (all 200 yards of it) and went on the ol' golf course.
So we are rolling through the snow, and we're about a half mile into it. I'm following the faint tracks that another friend made the day before when there was only about 6" of snow on the ground. We head around the back of one of the old fairways to this pong we always dick around on. Keep in mind its still dark out... So I asked him if he'd been on the pond lately and he said "Oh yeah guy, we were just on it yesterday with the 4runnah, she's froze up thick, probably 8 inches."
So off we went. I didn't get very far.. Little did I know at the time, I drove over the part where the warm spring was, except I couldn't see it. The water hadn't seeped through the fresh powder yet.
CRAAACK!! My stomach felt queasy at the instantaneous feeling of knowing that the front end just punched through the ice. The front end dropped, and the bumper caught the lip of the ice. I didn't realize how deep it was, and I immediately put it in reverse and punched it. Bad idea. The bumper slipped off and the whole front end went in. At the point I panicked a bit, started swearing at Jack, and gave myself literally 3 seconds to think. I rolled the windows down, and shut the truck off. I didn't realize how serious it was until I looked down and the water was rushing in the doors.
Time to go. We bailed out the windows, and I climbed on the roof and jumped off the passenger side. Unfortunately I didn't jump far enough and as we hit the ice together, it broke and we both went in. I managed to keep my head above water, but Jack didn't I grabbed the edge of the truck, climbed out, and pulled him out. (I don't remember this, but Jack told me later in the day) I dove back into the truck and snatched my Surefire flashlight that was clipped onto the steering column and climbed back out.
So it's about 15 degrees, 5AM, and we're soaked to the bone with 1/2 mile to go through the golf course/woods. Jack was laying on the ground starting to go into shock a bit, I think going all the way under really disoriented him. If you've never been in cold water like that before... lemme tell ya, when you first hit it, it burns like it's hot. And then when you get out, the cold air hits you and you can literally feel your body temp dropping by the second.
Jack told me to leave him there and go get help. I told him that wasn't gonna happen and to get the fuck up and start running or I was going kick him in the head, so he got up. We stripped our jackets and started running. Maaan that was a cold run. Couldn't feel much of feet or hands by the time we got back to his house. We both fell a bunch of times from the lack of feeling toes, but we made it. I'm glad I had my flashlight.
The results: It took 5 hours for us to get the truck out. An F-250 with a winch, and 2 of my buddies trucks anchored to it, and it took forever. Truck is totaled. My backseat was full of Christmas presents.. I had my phone, wallet, 2 pistols, all kinds of stuff in there. Luckily I recovered everything, what wasn't salvageable was covered my by renter's policy.
The insurance company totaled my truck under the comprehensive clause, and covered everything. Holy shit was I stressed out for a few days hoping my insurance was good.
So that's pretty much the whole story. I'll edit it if I remember details worth mentioning. Feel free to call me a dumb ass, or whatever, doesn't bother me. Obviously it wasn't the brightest decision to go out on the ice in that scenario, so you don't have to be redundant and tell me that, I think I figured that part out. I'm at the point now where I laugh about it. It could have been way worse, and I know that. I've been driving on ice my entire life, and of course something only happens when it's my own new truck.
Lessons learned: Don't listen to your buddies after you have been up drinking all night (that's an easy one that I should have already learned lol), and don't drive on the ponds after fresh powder, you can't see the warm springs!!
Pics you ask?? Of course!