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Mahnomen County snowmobile victim tried to warn others of ridge

A Minnesota man died Saturday after two snowmobiles crashed on South Twin Lake in Mahnomen County, Minn.

According to the Mahnomen County Sheriff's department, they received a 911 call just before 6 p.m. Saturday. Two snowmobiles in a group crashed after a lead rider tried to warn followers of a large snow ridge. The lead rider and his sled were struck by a following rider on his snowmobile.

Christopher Eibensteiner, 31, of Sartell, Minn., was pronounced dead on the scene.

Gregory Else, 30, of West Fargo was taken to an unnamed Fargo hospital in a private vehicle. He was reported as not having life-threatening injuries.

An autopsy was performed in Grand Forks, N.D. on Eibensteiner, the sheriff's office reported Monday. Preliminary cause of death is a ruptured aorta, resulting from blunt force trauma.

The ongoing investigation revealed that Eibensteiner was thrown from his snowmobile, which continued airborne and struck Else and his snowmobile.

Speed, darkness and unfamiliarity with the lake are considered to be contributing factors to the accident, according to the sheriff's office. Alcohol was ruled out as a cause.

The case was forwarded to the Mahnomen County Attorney's Office for review, but the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office does not expect charges to be filed.

Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by the White Earth Police Department, Twin Lakes Fire Department and the Naytahwaush Ambulance.