Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Wisconsin Snowmobile Fatality Summary - 2008/2009 Season

Updated through July 9, 2009 - 3:00 PM

# Date/Time Location Type & Cause of Incident / Fatality Age / Sex BAC / Residency WI Safety Certified / Helmet
1. 12/09/08 Barron County Drove through thin ice on lake 50 0.0 No
  6:00PM Village of Haugen (Lake) Unsafe Ice M WI No
The victim's wife reported her husband missing after she was unable to make contact with him and his whereabouts were unknown. Officers followed fresh snowmobile tracks on the lake leading onto an area of thin ice with no apparent exit tracks. Divers from local rescue teams recovered the victim in 15 feet of water directly beneath an open hole at the end of the snowmobile track.
2. 12/18/08 Adams County Struck trees 56 .270 No
  7pm - 7am Jackson Township (Road/Route) Speed/Alcohol/Head Trauma M WI Yes
The victim failed to negotiate a curve leaving the roadway, hitting a brush pile, going air born then striking a tree causing the snowmobile to come to a stop, the operator struck that tree and continued 27 feet hitting a second tree. Victim was last seen leaving a tavern at around 7pm.
3. 12/22/08 Jefferson County Struck Fixed Object 32 .171 Yes
  9:55 PM Concord Township (Trail) Speed/Alcohol/Head Trauma M WI Yes
The victim was third in a line of three snowmobiles when the first two riders crested a hill and entered a wooded tree line. The victim failed to negotiate the opening in the tree line, left the marked trail and struck a tree head on.
4. 12/25/08 Dane County Collision with moving vehicle 44 .000 No
  4:08 PM Town of Windsor (Trail) Failure to yield/Head and Chest Injuries M WI Yes
The victim entered roadway failing to yield right-of-way to semi-milk truck. Milk truck operator attempted to stop and went off road right. Victim jumped from sled and was struck by milk truck.
5. 12/30/08 Town of Eldorado Collision With a Fixed Object 16 .000 No
  7:10 PM Fond du Lac County (Private Property) Speed/Visibility M WI Yes
The victim was operating across a field on private property when he crossed a stream ditch at approximately 50 mph and hit a piece of frozen ground along a plowed field. The snowmobile went airborne and the victim was found a few feet from the machine; his helmet was no longer on. The victim passed away at the scene.
6. 12/31/08 Town of Herman Struck by Snowmobile 55 .198 No
  6:45 PM Shawano County (Public Trail) Speed/Alcohol M WI Yes
The victim was first in a line of three snowmobiles operating at a high rate of speed when he struck and killed a deer. The second and third snowmobiles could not stop in time and were involved in a collision together. One of the snowmobiles struck the victim who passed away at the scene. The second snowmobiler was air lifted to a hospital and the third snowmobiler was arrested for operating while intoxicated. All three snowmobilers had just left an area tavern.
7. 01/01/09 Town of Oakland Collision With Fixed Object 20 .186 No
  11:50 PM Douglas County (Frozen Lake) Speed/Alcohol/Drugs M MN Yes
The victim operating across a lake at a very high rate of speed with a passenger when the snowmobile hit the shoreline went airborne and struck a dock that had been pulled onto shore. Both the operator and passenger were killed instantly. The operator was wearing a helmet, but the passenger was not. The victim operator also tested positive for marijuana (THC).
8. 01/01/09 Town of Oakland Collision With Fixed Object 21 .147 N/A
  11:50 PM Douglas County (Frozen Lake) Speed/Alcohol/Drugs F MN No
See fatal #7. Victim #8 was the passenger. The victim operator also tested positive for marijuana (THC).
9. 01/03/09 Town of Little Falls Collision With tree 38 0.231 No
  1:26 AM Monroe County (Trail) Speed/Alcohol/Massive Chest & Abdominal Trauma M IL Yes
The victim was traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control and struck a tree ejecting him from the snowmobile.
10. 01/03/09 Town of Elk Collision With another snowmobile 65 0.0 No
  2:00 PM Price County (Trail) Visibility/fail to stay to right/Massive Head, Neck & Chest Trauma M WI Yes
Two snowmobiles collided with each other at the crest of a hill.
11. 01/03/09 Town of Arbor Vitae Collision with another snowmobile 26 .000 No
  1:50 PM Vilas County (Route) Speed/Fail to stay to the right/Head injuries F WI Yes
Victims #11 and #12 were riding double on a snowmobile and were involved in a near head-on collision with victim #13. Victim #13 was found to have marijuana with him at the time of the crash. The victim's blood also tested positive for marijuana.
12. 01/03/09 Town of Arbor Vitae Collision with another snowmobile 26 .000 No
  1:50 PM Vilas County (Route) Speed/Fail to stay to the right/Head and Chest Injuries M WI Yes
See #11.
13. 01/03/09 Town of Arbor Vitae Collision with another snowmobile 39 .000 No
  1:50 PM Vilas County (Route) Speed/Fail to stay to the right/Drugs M IL Yes
See #11.
14. 01/24/09 Town of Grover Collision with Fixed Object 73 .084 No
  3:19 PM Marinette Couny (Public Road) Speed/Multiple Internal Injuries/Alcohol M WI Yes
Victim was found deceased on a dead end road. Victim lost control on the road, rolled the snowmobile near the edge and was ejected into a group of trees. The road was not open for legal snowmobile travel.
15. 01/25/09 Town of Holland Collision with Fixed Object 44 0.36 No
  5:49 PM LaCrosse County (Snowmobile Trail) Alcohol/Fail to Negotiate Curve/Blunt Force Trauma M WI Yes
Victim was operating on a snowmobile trail, failed to negotiate a curve, and struck a tree.
16. 01/27/09 Town of Hay River Ejection/Collision with Fixed Object 46 .159 No
  10:00 PM Dunn County (Snowmobile Trail) Fail to Negotiate Curve/Chest & Neck Injuries/Alcohol M WI Yes
The victim was operating on a snowmobile trail, failed to negotiate a curve and was ejected from the snowmobile, striking a tree.
17. 02/01/09 Town of Columbus Struck by Motor Vehicle 38 0.052 Yes
  6:18 PM Columbia County (Snowmobile Trail Crossing) Failure to Yield Right of Way/Alcohol M WI Yes
The victim was the second snowmobiler in a group of two when he failed to yield to a motor vehicle while crossing State Highway 60 and was struck and killed by a motor vehicle.
18. 02/05/2009 Town of Nasewaupee Collision with Fixed Object 40 0.10 No
  9:20 PM Door County (Snowmobile Trail) Speed/Alcohol M MI Yes
The victim was third snowmobile in a group of three when he passed his two companions. The victim lost control traveling off the trail, back on and then proceeded straight off a curve into a tree. The victim's companions performed CPR, but the victim succombed to his injuries.
19. 02/07/2009 Town of Anson Collision with Fixed Object 55 0.278 No
  3:27 PM Chippewa County (Snowmobile Trail) Speed/Alcohol M MI Yes
The victim was lead snowmobile in a group of eight. The victim was traveling ahead of the group and was out of sight of the 2nd rider when he went off the trail on a curve and collided with a tree.
20. 02/14/2009 Town of Pensaukee Collision with Fixed Object 48 0.198 No
  9:29 PM Oconto County (Lake) Speed/Alcohol M WI Yes
The victim had left a tavern and was traveling on Green Bay when the victim hit an ice heave. The victim's snowmobile went airborne for approximately 57 feet before impacting the ice. The victim went airborne for approximately 149 feet before impacting the ice, where the victim continued for approximately another 150 feet. The victim's snowmobile was found with the engine still running.
21. 02/21/2009 Town of Watertown Drowning 34 0.266 No
  9:29 PM Jefferson County (River) Poor Ice Conditions/Alcohol M WI Yes
The victim was at an event along the Rock River and left for his residence downstream. When the victim didn't arrive at his residence, family members searched for him; observing the victim's snowmobile helmet floating in the river. The Sheriff's Dept. pulled the victim from the water at 5:30a.m. the next morning.
22. 02/27/2009 Town of Mt. Morris Collision with Fixed Object 52 0.304 Yes
  12:30 AM Waushara County (Lake) Speed/Alcohol M WI Yes
The victim left a tavern and traveled home. Once at home the victim started a different snowmobile and traveled out onto a lake. Victim was reported missing the next morning and was found along the shoreline. Victim appeared to have struck the shoreline with his snowmobile, ejected and struck two boats stored up on shore. A witness stated that the victim appeared intoxicated prior to leaving for his home.
23. 02/28/2009 Town of Stephenson Collision with Fixed Object 44 0.163 Yes
  2:00 AM Marinette County (Trail) Speed/Alcohol M IL No
The victim and companions left a tavern and were heading to their cabin. The victim was third in a line of four snowmobiles when he attempted to pass the snowmobile ahead of him, lost control and collided with a tree on the left side of the trail. Victim was ejected and landed onto the trail. Victim's companions initiated CPR until EMS arrived. Victim passed away after being removed from the scene.