Snowmobiler, 13, killed after vaulting snowbank

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Snowmobiler, 13, killed after vaulting snowbank

Postby Mike Brooks » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:08 pm

A speeding 13-year-old snowmobiler vaulted a snowbank in a state forest parking lot in central Minnesota and died in a crash-landing into some trees, according to the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office.

Mitchell Johnson, of Coon Rapids, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday afternoon in the Sand Dunes State Forest parking lot in Orrock Township, said Sheriff Joel Brott.

Johnson "was traveling at a high rate of speed" when his snowmobile went over the snowbank, crash-landed and struck the trees at about 2:15 p.m., Brott said.

Paramedics tried in vain to resuscitate Johnson, who suffered head injuries despite wearing a helmet, the sheriff said.

Witnesses say the boy was not using the snowbank for the purpose of jumping, according to Sheriff's Capt. Scott Fildes, who described Johnson as "an inexperienced snowmobiler."

Sand Dunes State Forest, about 3 miles west of Zimmerman and 5 miles north of Big Lake. is a popular recreational destination in the winter, offering 23 miles of snowmobile trails.
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