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January 19, 2018

1/10/2018 4:00:00 PM
Second snowmobile fatality in a week in Iron County

Brian Jopek

For the second time in less than a week, Iron County authorities dealt with a snowmobile-related fatality.

According to Iron County sheriff Tony Furyk, the sheriff's department received a report before 9 p.m. Tuesday of a man missing from a group of snowmobilers.

The person had last been seen on trail 9A in the town of Mercer around 3 p.m.

Furyk said the missing person, a 62-year-old Illinois man, was found by an Iron County deputy searching the area.

The deputy had observed snowmobile tracks leaving the trail, located the snowmobile and the man, who was later pronounced dead at the scene by Iron County coroner Diane Simonich.

Furyk said the preliminary investigation showed the machine failed to negotiate a curve, left the trail and the man was thrown from the machine. He said alcohol is not considered a factor in the incident.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

On Jan. 5, Keith Grimm, 56, of Algona, Iowa, died on trail 9 near Mercer when the snowmobile he was operating hit a tree. Excessive speed was suspected as the cause for that incident.

Furyk said Wednesday morning the Department of Natural Resources investigated that incident.

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.

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