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Stearns County man survives airborne snowmobile crash

Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the crash, authorities say
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A Sartell man took a brief flight in his snowmobile before crashing Saturday afternoon and lives to tell the tale. 

The 42-year-old was snowmobiling along County Road 2 in Brockway Township Saturday afternoon when his machine went airborne as he crossed a driveway. Once he got back on land, he rolled several times, losing his helmet in the process and was thrown from the machine, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office. 

He was transported to the St. Cloud hospital by ambulance. Alcohol and speed are believed by authorities to be factors in the crash, the sheriff's office said.

The incident remains under investigation.

Earlier in the weekend, an 18-year-old died in a snowmobile crash on Gull Lake in Cass County. 

The Cass County Sheriff's Office said the accident was the county's fourth serious snowmobile crash in February. Last winter, there were 11 fatal snowmobile crashes statewide, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

"Remember that you should never ride alone, dress for safety and survival, slow down and stay to the right on the trail or ditch, don’t drink alcohol and ride, use caution when traveling on frozen waterways, always respect private property and stay on the marked trail systems," the Cass County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

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