A snowmobiler died in a wreck after dark Saturday in northwestern Wisconsin in what authorities say was the fifth snowmobile fatality from a string of crashes that began Friday afternoon.
Lt. Roy Zellmer of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Sunday that excessive speed was a factor “in some of the crashes,” while alcohol played a role in at least one death.
The closest to Minnesota occurred about 50 miles from the border in the Township of Colfax, where a snowmobiler lost control on a designated trail and was thrown to his death, according to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office.
The ride, 28 years old and from rural Boyceville, Wis., was located by emergency responders about 7:30 p.m. and declared dead at the scene. His identity has yet to be released.
According to the DNR, which was still gathering details:
In Forest County in northeastern Wisconsin, a passenger and a snowmobile operator riding in a pack were thrown from the machine. One of the other snowmobilers fatally hit the passenger.
To the southwest in the same part of the state, a snowmobiler collided with a car and died in Langlade County.
In Iron County in far northern Wisconsin, a snowmobiler died after colliding with a commercial truck.
To the west of Green Bay in Calumet County, a snowmobiler on Lake Winnebago hit either a snowbank or crack in the ice and was tossed from his machine, which then fell on top of the operator. Authorities suspect speed and alcohol may have been factors in the crash.