OSCEOLA, Wis. (AP) — A 13-year-old girl who was participating in a snowmobile safety class died after her machine suddenly accelerated, veered off a training course and crashed into a loading dock in western Wisconsin.
The girl's mother, a nurse, ran to join first responders in life-saving efforts Saturday. The crash took place outside the high school in the Polk County community of Osceola where volunteers from the local snowmobile club were teaching the safety class.
About 42 participants were using the same snowmobile, outfitted with wheels on the skis, to take turns on the slow-speed maneuver course.
"The instructor who was in charge of the class had been doing this for 31 years and has never had any incidents," Osceola Police Chief Tim Lauridsen told the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gV4CST ).
The girl, who was wearing a helmet, was negotiating a pattern of traffic cones when the snowmobile accelerated and hit the loading dock, police said.
The girl, who has not been identified, was airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., and then transferred to neighboring Gillette Children's Hospital, where she arrived in critical condition. Authorities say the girl died Sunday at Gillette Children's Hospital.
Police and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are investigating.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com