It seemed like a good lead at the time. William R. Warren and his friend Tim Hood were riding in Warren's girl friend's car Sunday night, on their way home from Angel's food market in northeastern Anne Arundel County, when they decided to take a spin across the ice covering Bodkin Creek, near the Chesapeake Bay.

"We were having a good old time - until it went under," Hood recalled yesterday. "We just got a little too close to the bay."

The car, according to Maryland State Police, sank in 16 feet of water, 1,000 feet from any shoreline. Warren and Hood scrambled out windows and onto the ice as the car started to go down.

"We both sst and watched it," Hood said. "There wasn't much else to do.

Hood said that he and the 25-year-old Warren, both of whom live in Pasadena, Md., had been out on the ice "about an hour" before they heard a series of cracks and felt the left front wheel go through at a spot where the ice thinned out over a channel of the wide-mouthed creek. It empties into Chesapeake Bay not far from the siet of the mishap.

Three other vehicles on the sice at the same time reportedly hurried off the ice after the car Warren was driving went in.

Warren's girl friend, Hood reported, is livid about the loss of her car and Warren reportedly hasn't been able to determine if insurance will cover the damage to the vehicle. Hood said he did not know the girl friend's name and Warren could not be reached for comment.

State Police reported that fivers yesterday tied a marker buoy to the car, so it can be retrieved when the spring thaw comes.

The Warren mishap was only one of a series of incidents of cars falling through the ice around Baltimore on Sunday.

On the Back River, northeast of Baltimore, a 21 year-old Baltimore man carrying two passengers, aged 20 and 17, drove his pickip truck out onto the ice at 10 p.m. Sunday and "was doing all kinds of shenanigans," according to a Baltimore County police spokesman.

After sliding and skidding around for a while, however, Thomas James Levy Jr. and his friends felt the truck going down in five feet of water 500 yards from shore, and clambered onto the roof, calling for help, police said. They were rescued by a State Police helicopter which dropped a harness to pick them up.

A state police spokesman said that "there's no way we can get the truck out now - when the tide comes in it'll probably be submerged anyway."

In a separate incident on the Rhodes River near Annapolis, two adults and two children escaped from a Land Rover when it went through the ice in three feet of water.

An ambulance crew treated the four - Robert P. Kline, 48, of Camp Springs, James Hall, 46 of Rockville, Christine Kline, 12, of Mayo, and Scott Lawson 11, of Camp Springs - for exposure.