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Susan Kost, Fargo, Published January 24 2013

Letter: A caution about dangers of using snowmobiles

I am sure that many Forum readers read about the death of my fiancé, Jerry Kotalik, on Christmas Day. I would like to elaborate on the story, hoping that by doing so, I may be able to save a life.

Jerry was a mechanic. There was not much that he could not fix, including snowmobiles, which makes the circumstances of his death all the more unbelievable. The snowmobiles he was going to ride had been in a heated shop. After they were pulled out, while one was warming up, the throttle cable on a second snowmobile had time to freeze.

Jerry never went on a snowmobile without a helmet. He was just starting them to warm them up. With the throttle cable frozen, it took off as fast as it could with no time for him to react. He hit a trailer in the yard and was killed instantly.

After talking to his mother, I was told of an accident involving a 17-year-old near Watford City. N.D., this past weekend who was killed the same way. I feel it is my obligation to inform others that this can happen.