Jakob Emerson was oblivious of the fact that the truck was sliding into the water behind him
For reporter Jakob Emerson, it seemed like an ordinary day on the job: reporting live about a proposed artificial lake project.
Mr Emerson, a reporter for WICS News, was speaking live on camera about a proposed project to build a second artificial lake in the area as an economic development programme, when a white GMC Sierra pickup truck right behind him was seen sliding down the launch and sinking in the span of a few seconds.
The driver of the pickup truck had stepped out of his vehicle to release a motorboat, that towed from its trailer, onto Springfield lake.
The video, which has now gone viral, shows the vehicle sliding into the lake and then becoming fully submerged in just under a minute.
Nobody was inside the vehicle when it began its descent from the launch and into the lake.
Mr Emerson was oblivious of the fact that the truck was sliding into the water behind him. He can be seen reacting to a prompt possibly by someone behind the camera to notice the sinking vehicle.
Mr Emerson turns around and lets out an audible gasp and disappears behind the camera, after which it takes just a few more seconds for the truck to completely submerge.
The Spaulding dam boat launch, where the truck was parked, was covered in a slippery slope of algae, Sangamon county emergency management office director Bill Lee told WICS.
“Most of them have a very gradual decline, this one seems to drop off relatively quick,” Mr Lee said. “It’s always best to park at the top of the ramp and go down and walk the ramp to identify if that thick algae is there and makes it real slick,” he added.
Springfield mayor Jim Langerfelder told the news outlet that the city would investigate the sinking.
Around one to three similar incidents are reported from the lake every year, according to the city water, light and power department, which added that the launches are cleaned monthly.