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1 dead, 1 injured in series of recent snowmobile crashes

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Five snowmobilers have crashed in St. Louis County in the past week, according to the sheriff's office.

Steven Rahman, 53, of Hastings, was pronounced dead at the scene after hitting a tree near Tower Wednesday night, a release says.

Officials say he was wearing a helmet and that speed appears to be a factor in the crash, KBJR 6 reports.

In another crash Monday, a 57-year-old woman was transported to a hospital in serious condition after hitting a tree. She was wearing a helmet and alcohol was not a factor, the sheriff's office says.

In the other three crashes in the county this past week, the victims were transported to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Last winter (2014-2015), four people were killed in snowmobiling incidents, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources notes. Alcohol was involved in all four crashes, although in one incident it was not "enough to impair."

However, in the 2013-14 season, 15 snowmobilers were killed, the DNR says, which Star Tribune reported was the deadliest winter for snowmobilers since 2010.

The DNR has tips for snowmobilers on its website, reminding people to not drink and ride, to slow down and to keep on eye on trail conditions.

Minnesota has 22,000 miles of trails and more registered snowmobiles than any other state, the Star Tribune said. The Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association estimates that number is about 220,000.

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