IRON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is urging snowmobilers to ride with caution after the 15th snowmobiling-related death in Michigan this winter occurred in Iron County this week.
42-year-old Todd Lisowe of New Holstein, Wisconsin, was killed when the snowmobile he was driving crashed into an oncoming trail groomer on Thursday, March 2. The crash occurred at approximately 11:45 a.m. CST on Snowmobile Trail 113 south of Crystal Falls.
Lisowe was with three other snowmobilers traveling from Big Bay in Marquette County to Pembine, Wisconsin. Lisowe was riding in front when he collided with an active trail groomer operated by the Chippewa Sno-Kats Snowmobile Club of Crystal Falls.
Life-saving attempts were made, but Lisowe died at the scene of the crash. No other injuries were reported in the incident.
Conservation officers said excessive speed is believed to be the cause of the deadly crash. No alcohol or drug use is suspected. The weather was clear with no visibility concerns.
The DNR says that speed is the primary cause of snowmobile crashes in Michigan, with 13 snowmobiling deaths in the state last winter and 12 during the winter of 2020-2021.
Conservation officers urge snowmobilers to Ride Right, by riding on the right side of the trail, riding sober and at a safe speed appropriate for weather conditions and rider abilities. Anticipate and watch out for trail groomers.
Additional entities assisting the DNR Law Enforcement Division at the scene included DNR fire officers, Michigan State Police, Aspirus MedEvac EMS, Auto Doc of Crystal Falls, Iron County Search and Rescue, Iron County Sheriff’s Office and the Alpha Mastadon and Crystal Falls fire departments.