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Forum staff reports, Published December 26 2012

Fargo man dies in snowmobile accident

PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. – A 40-year-old Fargo man died after he lost control of a snowmobile that malfunctioned near here on Christmas Day.

According to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office:

The man had just started the snowmobile and was going to ride it a short distance before allowing it to warm up.

The snowmobile accelerated and the rider fell off, striking his head on a trailer that was parked on the property.

The sheriff’s office said in a release that it appears the man lost control of the snowmobile possibly because of a mechanical failure of the throttle.

Jerome Kotalik suffered a traumatic head injury. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, but the sheriff’s office said in a release that it appears Kotalik intended to wear one once he began the longer ride. Helmets were at the scene and on another sled that was running.

The accident occurred around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at 49793 County Highway 9 near Pelican Rapids.