Snowmobile immolates after cross-county ride

(ABC 6 News) – Olmsted County deputies responded to a vehicle fire call at about 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, and found a snowmobile that was, according to a deputy’s report, “90 percent melted or burned up.”

Capt. James Schueller said the snowmobile, a 2018 Ski-Doo MXZ valued at $12-13,000, was found near the snowmobile trail at Silver Creek Road and Highway 42 NE, Viola Township.

Deputies at the scene made contact with a driver passing by, who told them he had given the aflame snowmobile’s owner a ride home.

The snowmobile’s owner had not called the fire in to Olmsted County first responders.

After making contact with the owner, deputies learned the man and his fellow snowmobile drivers had taken their vehicles out and stopped for gas in Eyota.

On their way back toward Viola Township, the man heard a popping noise, then saw flames under the hood of his snowmobile, according to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver who took the snowmobile owner home told deputies he’d come upon the scene while the four snowmobile drivers were attempting to put the fire out with snow.

According to Schueller, he agreed to give the owner a ride home, as the three other snowmobile drivers he was with could not fit him onto their vehicles.

Deputies did not note any signs of impairment in the owner, Schueller said.

According to Schueller, the owner left the snowmobile to burn out, then collected the remains Saturday morning.