25 Die During Snowmobile Season

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Nov 27, 2008 in Press Releases

Number of Deaths Just Under 10-year average

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported that 25 people died during the snowmobile season which officially closed Tuesday. According to a state administrator for the DNR, this is one fewer fatality than last year and two fewer than the 10-year average. In the previous three seasons, there have been an average 33 snowmobile fatalities each year, more than half of which were alcohol-related. The trails closed after the agreements with private landowners expired.

Officials attributed the drop in snowmobile deaths this winter to a 55 mph nighttime speed limit on trails and media attention to the crashes, which helped raise awareness.

The final fatality occurred March 8 in Juneau County, when a 13-year-old girl who was driving too fast on a curve struck a tree and died, the DNR said. Earlier this year, popular Chicago news anchor Randy Salerno tragically died in a snowmobile accident when was a passenger on a friends snowmobile. The driver lost control and hit several trees.

With recent snowfalls in northern Wisconsin, snowmobiling is expected to continue which may lead to more accidents.

The fatal crashes occurred in 17 counties. At least 16 of the fatalities involved alcohol. The record for snowmobiling deaths is 39 during the 1999-2000 winter. The 25 fatalities this winter was the fewest since 25 riders were killed in the winter of 2003-2004.

For more information on this story or the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Pitman, Kalkhoff & Sicula, please contact us at 1-800-950-9882.

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