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Recent Accidents Remind Snowmobilers To Use Caution

Posted at: 02/18/2013 5:06 PM
Updated at: 02/18/2013 5:42 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

Snowmobile trails are finally ready to ride in the Northland, but this past weekend proved to be deadly. There were four accidents; one was fatal and another victim is still missing.

"I know everybody has been waiting all winter to go out and enjoy the snow, but it's important to stay safe," Snowmobile Safety Instructor Phillip Lockett said. "If you get in an accident, no one is having any more fun that day."

Instructors in Duluth said trails are crowded with riders because of the late season, and that's just one of several things that can lead to accidents.

"Drinking and driving don't get along," Instructor Bob Klein said. "Speed truly is a big killer on a snowmobile."

Accidents also happen when snowmobilers venture off trails and onto a frozen lake.

"Ice is never 100 percent safe," Lockett said. "You can have two feet in one area and six inches in another area."

It's not all dangerous though, Lockett said pairing caution with common sense can make a big difference.

Last year, there were six fatal accidents in Minnesota and 10 in Wisconsin. WDIO has reported eight accidents this year in February alone, and three have been fatal.