Snowmobiler suffers injury in crash; DNR reports busy crash season

Six people have been killed so far this winter season across the state in snowmobile crashes, the DNR reports.


PINE RIVER — A 53-year-old Farmington man was in fair condition Monday, Jan. 27, at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd after suffering injuries in a snowmobile crash last week on the Old Grade Road and Aspen Trail in Pine River.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources responded to the crash at 9:40 a.m. Thursday. Upon arrival, the DNR conservation officer made contact with the injured man, Thomas L. Svien, who complained of a possible broken collar bone and severe back pain.

The officer learned Daniel Imre, 48, Prior Lake, was riding with Svien, and they were traveling south on the Aspen Trail. Imre stated he got air off one of the hills and hit the next hill straight on. This caused him to be launched from the snowmobile, which then rolled over. Imre stated Svien, who was traveling behind him, was tossed off his snowmobile and once tossed off, Svien slid into Imre’s snowmobile still on the trail.

Svien was transported by ambulance to the Brainerd hospital. Ideal Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Snowmobile crashes across the state

Communications coordinator Joe Albert with the DNR enforcement division of St. Paul stated it’s been a busy year so far with snowmobile crashes. As of Monday, the DNR has responded to six fatalities as a result of snowmobiling.


There were 10 fatalities in 2018-19; seven in 2017-18; five in 2016-17; three in 2015-16; four in 2014-15; and 15 in 2013-14.

Snowmobile travel tips

  • Stay on marked trails. The state’s snowmobile clubs work to keep trails in good riding condition. Riders who stay on groomed trails are less likely to strike an obstacle or trespass onto private property. In parts of the state, wet conditions where trails go through low areas or across lakes mean trails aren’t yet groomed. Riders should plan ahead and check trail conditions before heading out.

  • Leave the booze at home. Drinking and riding is one of two main factors in crashes, and plays a role in about 60% of those that are fatal.

  • Watch the speed. Going too fast is the other main factor in crashes. Many serious and fatal crashes occur when a speeding snowmobiler loses control or strikes an object.

  • Be careful on the ice. In recent years, every through-the-ice fatality has involved people who were riding a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle when they fell through. There must be at least 5 to 7 inches of new, clear ice to support the weight of a snowmobile and rider.

  • Take a snowmobile safety course. It’s required of anyone born after 1976 and recommended for everyone. People with snowmobile safety certification are less likely to be involved in serious or fatal crashes.

Source: DNR

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