Teen dies after crashing while riding snowmobile for first time

The 18-year-old had just left a restaurant with his family.
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An 18-year-old man has died after crashing while riding a snowmobile for the first time.

The tragedy unfolded on Saturday in Wadena County, when Paul Peterson, of Motley, left the Wahoo Valley Bar & Grill with his family at around 1:20 p.m.

Peterson and his family were to continue riding snowmobiles, with Peterson taking off before the rest of the riders.

He was found having crashed about a minute later by his father. Lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful, with the teenager pronounced dead at the scene.

"He was riding a 2000 Polaris 600XSSP at the time of the crash and it was his first time riding a snowmobile," the Wadena County Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff's office added that Peterson was wearing a helmet, and that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

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Through Jan. 31, the Minnesota DNR had reported six snowmobile fatalities in Minnesota this winter. 

Since then, a Coon Rapids man died snowmobiling in St. Louis County, another Twin Cities man died while snowmobiling north of Brainerd, and a Hoffman man died when his snowmobile went through lake ice in west-central Minnesota.

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