A Franklin County angler died after his utility-task-vehicle broke through the ice on Union Falls Pond, according to state police.
Gregory N. Manchester, 59, of Franklin drove his vehicle onto the ice on Sunday to go fishing. He was reported missing the following morning.
A state police helicopter flew over the area and spotted his UTV partially submerged. State forest rangers followed footprints to a seasonal cabin and found Manchester lying on the floor, suffering from severe hypothermia. He was unresponsive.
Officials tried without success to revive Manchester at the scene and en route to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. He was pronounced dead by Dr. Matthew Morgan.
An autopsy was performed on Tuesday. Franklin County Coroner Ronald Keough said the cause of death was “aspiration of gastric contents due to hypothermia.” When he hit the water, Manchester evidently heaved up and then breathed in some of his stomach contents.
Union Falls Pond is a shallow impounded section of the Saranac River. Paul Smith built the dam at Union Falls in 1907 to generate hydroelectric power. The mile-long pond harbors a variety of fish, including walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, brown bullhead, and bass.
It is located just downriver from another impoundment known as Franklin Falls Pond.
Photo by Marc Wanner: Franklin Falls Pond, left, and Union Falls Pond as seen from McKenzie Mountain.