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UPDATED: Snowmobile driver seriously injured in collision with tree

Witnesses said speed was a factor in a crash on the Heartland Trail Saturday. (Submitted photo)

     A 66-year-old snowmobile driver suffered serious injuries Saturday in a collision with a tree on the Heartland Trail near Nevis.

     Witnesses said excessive speed was a factor.

     William Zasoski, 66, of Grand Forks, and his son were eastbound on the Heartland Trail when he lost control of his snowmobile and struck a tree. The son was not injured.

  Zasoski was transported to Sanford Hospital in Bemidji for an apparent leg injury.

     Assisting at the scene were the Nevis First Responders and the Minnesota DNR.

     “We must have just missed the wreck by a few minutes,” one witness told the Enterprise. “It will be interesting to know a few more details like why was he on the wrong side of the trail. I also noticed the sled didn’t have a seat, only a small  cushion.”

     Another witness, who said he was on the scene first, said he let the driver and his son go by them near stop signs on the trail and the man, who was riding with his son, sped off at a very high rate of speed.

     The first witness said the driver hit a small divot in the trail and lost control of the sled, striking the tree.

     “It did give us an uneasy feeling and although I don’t consider myself an aggressive rider we both rode with a little more caution the rest of the day,” the second witness said.

     “Speed was definitely a factor,” said the man who was first on the scene.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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