Fishing expedition nets biggest 'catch'
Massachusetts NEW LEADER, Feb. 23, 1989

Instead of bringing home a catch, the three boys rescued Christopher Hickey 
of Spencer.  Hickey's car crashed through the ice around 4:15 p.m. Sunday

By Lorena Nozzolillo
New Leader Staff Writer

WEST BROOKFIELD – Two West Brookfield boys and their Worcester friend caught more than they bargained for when they went ice fishing on Lake Wickaboag Sunday afternoon.

Instead of bringing home a catch, the three boys rescued Christopher Hickey of Spencer. Hickey's car had crashed through the ice around 4:15 p.m.

Matthew Wolaver, 13, Mark Astrella, 14, both of West Brook­field, and their friend Mike Caldwell, 13, of Worcester, were ice fishing on Lake Wickaboag yesterday afternoon, when they noticed. that a green sedan had driven out onto the ice.

"Mike (Caldwell) turned around and saw the car on the ice about 15 feet away," Wolaver says. "It was spinning its tires and the back end was sinking."

The boys say that soon after Hickey started to spin his tires, the ice broke and the car began .to sink. They say the driver tried to open the door but it had jammed. The car continued to sink until it was almost completely submerged.

"He had a bright orange hat and when we didn't see it anymore we knew he went under," Astrella said.

At this point, Caldwell ran to get help while Wolaver and Astrella ran to retrieve the driver of the vehicle. Wolaver says Hickey was under about two feet of water.

"Matt was pulling on him and I was pulling on Matt's arm," says Astrella explaining how the two formed a human chain to pull the driver out. When the driver was all the way out, he didn't appear to be injured, “just drenched" Wolaver says. The boys say that Hickey offered no explanation to them why he drove the vehicle out onto the lake. Soon after Hickey was pulled from the vehicle, the boys say the West Brookfield Police, as wel1 as a handful of spectators, arrived on the scene.

Wolaver says his mother was “very proud” of her son and his friends, and joked that she was busy Monday “spreading the word” of her son’s exploits from the day before.

Ironically enough, Caldwell says that they had almost decided to go ice fishing later in the day, and in fact had planned to play a board game before they ventured to the lake. If this had happened, they would not have been around when the car crashed through the ice.

“We didn’t even catch anything,” Caldwell laments of Sunday’s fishing excursion.

“Actually, we did,” Astrella replied.