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It was a deadly weekend for Minnesota outdoor recreation

Three women were killed in northern Minnesota.
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The Essentials

1. Three women were killed in off-road vehicle incidents over the weekend in Minnesota.

2. 18 year old Kirja Kishel, of Eveleth, died when the snowmobile she was on crashed into a forestry gate in St. Louis County. Her 21 year old male co-rider, Nathan Giese, was injured.

3. Two ATVs, each carrying a man and a woman, crashed through ice on Grace Lake, near Bemidji, and Rice Lake in Itasca County. The female riders died in each incident, while the men survived.

The Big Picture

Another deadly weekend for off-road riders in Minnesota comes shortly after the state was found to have the highest rate of off-highway vehicle crashes so far in 2017.

The Consumer Federation released data that showed 25 fatalities in the state as of last week.

More details about the latest incidents are expected in the coming days. Police in St. Louis County are investigating circumstances around the snowmobile crash that claimed Kirja Kishel's life.

Meanwhile the two lake crashes bear eerie similarities.

The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office said an ATV carrying a man and woman plunged through ice on Grace Lake early Saturday morning.

The woman, 23-year-old Lauren Lund, of Bemidji, was killed in the crash, while 27-year-old Ethan Oftedahl managed to get out of the water and call for help.

At Rice Lake in Itasca County, the Duluth News Tribune says that Bernice Kane, of Cohasset, drowned following a crash at 5:45 p.m Saturday.

Michael Gibbons, of Duluth, was able to get out of the water on his own and call for help, the newspaper reports.

It's the latest in a series of incidents of people going through thin ice on Minnesota's lakes, despite multiple warnings from sheriff's offices across the state about unsafe conditions.

The Pioneer Press reports that warmer temperatures have not been conducive for the lakes to be making ice.

Here are the DNR guidelines for ice thickness.

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