7-Year-Old Killed In Snowmobile Crash

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WEST BEND - A 7-year-old child is dead after a snowmobile accident near his family’s home in the Town of Polk.

Robert Haessler saw what happened after a terrible crash in the backyard of the home next door.
 
“Very tragic, very tragic,” he told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.  “I noticed all the emergency vehicles showing up and noticed the snowmobile back by the woods.”
 
A man giving a neighbor’s 7-year-old son a ride on the snowmobile lost control, Lt. Robert Martin said.  The sled spun and flipped several times.  In an official release from the sheriff’s department, the lieutenant called the crash an “accident” and said “speed is believed to have been a contributing factor.”
 
An ambulance rushed the child to nearby Froedtert Health St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend where he was pronounced dead.  Investigators say the boy was not wearing a helmet, though a helmet is not required when riding on private property and it is unclear if one would have made any difference in this crash.
 
The child killed attended a school in the School District of Slinger and there are already plans in the works for grief counselors on Monday, a law enforcement official said.
 
The adult snowmobile driver was listed in stable condition Saturday evening, according to a St. Joseph’s hospital spokesperson.
 
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is required to investigate all snowmobile accidents and is working with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.