DOVER — A 23-year-old snowmobiler was taken by Flight For Life late Thursday night after he crashed into a tree, authorities said.
It’s at least the third reported snowmobile crash in Racine County over the last month.
Racine County dispatchers received a 911 call at approximately 11:30 p.m. for a snowmobiler who hit a tree on a marked snowmobile trail just northeast of the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 75.
Once on scene deputies located the victim, who was unconscious with serious head injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The victim, who was the lone rider of the vehicle and was wearing a helmet, was later transferred by Flight for life to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.
Preliminary reports show the man failed to negotiate a curve in the trail. He then went off the trail and was ejected from his snowmobile into a tree line, where he struck the tree.
Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash, and the Department of Natural Resources is assisting with the investigation, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.
Jason Roberts, a DNR warden, said the snowmobiler was riding along with three other people and two of those other riders were arrested on suspicion of driving intoxicated. A first offense for driving a snowmobile while intoxicated is $641, Roberts said, although people can receive additional fines.
The same blood alcohol limit of .08 for driving a car also applies to a snowmobile, Roberts said.
This winter they have had special patrols out on snowmobile trails in southeastern Wisconsin, including trails in Racine County. And they will be out again this weekend, he said.
The wardens are in full uniform and their sleds are marked, Roberts said. They do not have any random checkpoints, he said, but if they have any indication someone is intoxicated they will perform a field sobriety test.
The Racine County Sheriff’s Office also has deputies who patrol snowmobile trails, said Lt. David Kinservik. They try to regularly send out two deputies on weekends, he said.