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Area man dies in snowmobile accident

A Dunn County man was killed in a snowmobile accident Tuesday night on a trail between Wheeler and Boyceville.

According to Ed Culhane of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources office in Eau Claire, the accident occurred at around 10 p.m. on a trail that follows Highway 170. The accident scene was directly behind the Western Wisconsin Renewable Energy Co-op ethanol plant.

The victim was identified as Timothy Turner, 46, Wheeler.

Culhane said that Turner was in a group of three snowmobilers who were each driving their own sleds. Turner was the third in line, but passed the other sleds and then came up on a corner.

"He slid off the trail, was thrown from the sled and hit a tree," said Culhane.

Turner was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and it is not yet known if alcohol was involved, according to Culhane.

The man becomes the 16th snowmobile fatality of the season in the state. Culhane noted that at this time last year there were 15 snowmobile-related deaths.

According to DNR records, the worst year for snowmobile-related fatalities was 1999-2000 season when there were 39 deaths.