A Rural Silver Lake man died Saturday when he lost control of his snowmobile and crashed into a moving train in Dassel.
According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, 31-year-old Paul Fenske died at the scene.
Authorities say the initial investigation indicated that two snowmobiles were traveling eastbound along the railroad tracks within the City of Dassel at the same time as an eastbound Burlington Northern/Santa Fe railroad train. The lead snowmobile lost control and slid into the side of the train, several cars back from the locomotives. The snowmobile became caught on the train and was dragged down the tracks and Fenske was pulled under the train.
Due to the fact that the collision occurred along the side of the train, several cars back from the locomotives; the train crew was unaware of the collision and continued eastbound along the tracks. The train was later stopped and is currently being inspected in an attempt to determine which railroad car was involved in the collision. The other snowmobiler, who was an acquaintance of the victim, witnessed the accident, but was not involved in the accident itself and was not injured.
The incident happened at about 6:45 Saturday evening and is under investigation.