Publish date:

Teen dies after crashing while riding snowmobile for first time

The 18-year-old had just left a restaurant with his family.

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.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

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.

Next Up

minneapolis police

Reuters report claims MPD has engaged in 'pullback' since George Floyd's murder

The report has put the department in the spotlight once again.

Foreman tl - Flug-Presley tr - Sturm bl - Pettus br - Go Fund Me and Facebook

Mystery surrounds discovery of 4 MN friends found dead in SUV

Here's what is known about the case so far — and what questions remains.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 9.21.25 AM

Mpls. school moves to virtual learning due to homeless encampment on grounds

The Volunteers of America School says some students will work remotely, while others work at alternative sites.

storm, severe weather

Severe weather Thursday: Here's what the NWS is saying

If storms can get going during daylight hours, they might be nasty.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson to serve as independent after ousting by House DFL

Thompson has been involved in multiple controversies following a July 4 traffic stop.


Chisholm school sends some grades home due to COVID-19 outbreak

Elementary students at Vaughan-Steffensrud are subject to the outbreak.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins needs to let it fly against the Cardinals

An aggressive approach could ensure a win in the desert.

Minneapolis police

Shooting Wednesday marks 7th homicide in 7 days in Minneapolis

The latest shooting happened just before noon Wednesday.


Pedestrian, 34, dies after being struck by semi-trailer on Hwy. 12

The State Patrol says the pedestrian was standing in the lane when he was struck by the semi.

Charpenter injury ATV Go Fund Me

ATV rider nearly killed after being impaled in neck by large stick

The stick was 1.5 inches in diameter and went 6-7 inches into his body.


Woman, 22, suffers life-threatening head injury in snowmobile crash

The driver had been drinking, police say, and neither were wearing helmets.

Man and woman die after snowmobile hits power pole

The pair were killed on Sunday afternoon.

Becker man killed after snowmobile lands on him

It's the latest in a series of snowmobile fatalities this year so far in Minnesota.

Snowmobiler killed after riding up a ditch in central Minnesota

The 46-year-old's snowmobile was hit by a car on Hwy. 71.

K-9 handler from Medford dies in Wisconsin snowmobile crash

The 36 year old from Medford died after rear-ending another snowmobile.