An Eagan man died over the weekend when his snowmobile hit a tree, the most recent fatality in a tally that has hit 13 - well above the eight snowmobile deaths in all of last winter.
The Brainerd Dispatch reports that Paul R. Schanno II, 53, died Saturday afternoon in Savannah Portage State Park in northern Minnesota, when his machine hit a tree at a curve on a trail, according to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
With the latest fatality, there have been at least 13 snowmobile-related deaths this year in Minnesota, according to a tally from the Department of Natural Resources. That compares to eight in all of last winter.
Snowmobile deaths in Minnesota, according to the DNR:
Winter of 2013-14 (so far) – 13
2012-13 – 8
2011-12 – 6
2010-11 – 13
2009-10 – 19
It's also been a year of several dramatic rescues of Minnesota snowmobilers, including six friends who got stranded in the Wyoming wilderness, and a 40-year-old father and his 19-year-old son who vanished in a Michigan blizzard.