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Eagan man latest victim in deadly snowmobiling season

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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
2008-09– 10
2007-08– 9
2006-07– 14

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.

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