FARGO — A large group of people gathered quietly Monday night, Feb. 24, for a candlelight vigil outside the Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity near North Dakota State University.
The focus of the silent reverie was a large image of Ben Anderson, 22, which stood illuminated near the door of the fraternity.
A member of the fraternity who studied agribusiness at NDSU, Anderson was riding a snowmobile on Saturday, Feb. 22, on Olson Lake, about 20 miles west of Alexandria, when the snowmobile fell through the ice, according to the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
Friends performed CPR on Anderson until emergency crews arrived. He was first brought to a hospital in Alexandria and then flown to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, where he died.
The Grant County Sheriff's Office said it is looking into the role an aeration system may have played in weakening the ice where Anderson fell through. The systems are often used to oxygenate bodies of water to keep fish from dying in the winter when lakes are iced over.
It is the second tragedy Anderson's family has faced in recent years.
His father, Patrick Anderson, died in a utility vehicle accident near Kensington in 2016.
The vigil lasted for about 20 minutes, after which groups of people quietly drifted away.
A visitation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Hoffman. The funeral is being held at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at the same church.