MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 40-year-old man from Fargo, North Dakota, died on Christmas Day after getting into a snowmobile accident in Pelican Rapids, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said the accident happened at about 2:46 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 9 in Pelican Rapids. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office said a man riding a snowmobile lost control, possibly due to a mechanical failure with the throttle. The snowmobile accelerated and the rider fell off, hitting his head on parked snowmobile trailer.

Authorities said the man died from a traumatic head injury and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash even though there was intent to wear one. It appears the rider had started the snowmobile and drove it a short distance to warm up. Helmets were on another nearby sled to use when they warmed up.

Pelican Rapids is located in northwestern Minnesota, north of Fergus Falls.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Jerome Kotalik.


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