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Local, State/Region — February 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Man dies after snowmobiling alongside railroad tracks in Dassel

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Photo courtesy of mark.hogan via Flickr

DASSEL, Minnesota (AP) — A 31-year-old Minnesota man who was riding a snowmobile alongside railroad tracks in Dassel died after he lost control, slid into a moving train, and was pulled underneath.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office says Paul Fenske of Silver Lake was traveling eastbound along the tracks Saturday night. A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was heading eastbound at the same time.

Fenske lost control and slid into the side of the train. Authorities say the snowmobile got caught and was dragged down the tracks, and Fenske was pulled under the train.

The crash happened several cars back from the locomotives, so the crew didn’t know about it and kept going. The train was later stopped.

Another snowmobiler with Fenske saw the accident, but wasn’t injured.

Authorities and the railroad are investigating.

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