Two separate snowmobile accidents in Pine County leave one missing, one seriously injured


One man is missing and another is seriously injured in two separate and unrelated snowmobile accidents in Pine County.

One snowmobiler suffered life-threatening injuries after being ejected from his sled in Pine County. WCCO reports the Pine County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting an accident on Pokegama Lake Saturday night. Crews found the victim about 1,000 feet from the shore on the frozen lake. Authorities said it appears the victim hit a partially submerged island and was thrown from his snowmobile.

The victim transported by sled to a waiting ambulance, then was transported to the hospital in Mora via air ambulance.

Meanwhile, the search for a snowmobiler who when through the ice Saturday evening on the St. Croix River has been suspended, KARE-TV reports.

The Pioneer Press reports it's believed the man's body was swept away by the current of the river. The missing man was with two other snowmobilers who were traveling along the frozen river when he apparently hit a patch of open water.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that several officials, including Pine and Burnett County Sheriff’s deputies, found a partially submerged snowmobile on the edge of a large open area of turbulent water, but no sign of the snowmobiler.

The tragedy happened the same day a 22-year-old man's snowmobile crashed through the ice on the St. Croix River near Bayport. The Pioneer Press has identified as Billy Meister of Stillwater. Meister worked at Meister's Bar and Grill in Stillwater, which is owned by his father, Bill Meister.

The man's body was pulled from the river about a half-hour after calls were made to authorities. He was believed to have been submerged in the water for nearly 20 minutes, and died after being transported to Regions Hospital.

On Friday, a 22-year-old man died from injuries suffered in a snowmobile crash in Bayfield County in northeastern Wisconsin, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

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