On Saturday afternoon, February 5, 2022, the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting several people had fallen through the ice on Stampede Reservoir. Eight people had been ice skating on the lake when the ice broke, and six skaters went into the water. The remaining two began to assist in pulling the others out of the water.
One individual, reported to have been the furthest away from the main party of skaters, went underwater, and visual contact with this person was lost. They were able to report to emergency responders where the subject had last been seen in the water.
Emergency responders made overflights of the lake, attempting to locate the subject. Further air search operations were conducted with the Washoe County Dive Team, but they could not find the victim.
Care Flight transported one person to Tahoe Forest Hospital with a dislocated shoulder. This person was released later in the evening. No further injuries were reported.
The body of William Smallfield, 72, was recovered Sunday morning with the assistance of both Washoe County Hasty Team and the Placer County Dive Team, authorities said.