Weather Forecast


One dead, one injured in Wisconsin snowmobile crashes

One person was killed and another injured in separate snowmobile accidents Friday in Bayfield County, according to the sheriff's department.

About 5:17 p.m., the Bayfield County 911 Communications Center received a report of an accident involving a car and snowmobile at the intersection of Airport Road and the Tri-County Corridor in the town of Hughes, about 1½ miles west of Iron River.

Iron River police officers arrived to find snowmobilers giving CPR to a member of their group, Timothy Patrick O'Meara, 45, of Knapp, Wis.

The Iron River Ambulance and Fire Departments determined O'Meara had died in the crash. O'Meara officially was pronounced dead by Coroners Gary Victorson and Peggy Kman.

According to a news release issued by Chief Deputy Dan Clark of the Bayfield County Sheriff's Department:

The investigation revealed O'Meara was the first of a group of five snowmobilers going east on the Tri-County Corridor and was about one-quarter mile ahead of the others when he failed to stop for the stop sign at Airport Road. He broadsided a northbound car driven and owned by Arlene E. Helenius of Iron River. Helenius was uninjured.

The other four riders in the group drove up to the scene, but did not witness the accident.

Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor and Victorson sent samples the crime lab.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources assisted at the crash.

Then, shortly before midnight, the sheriff's department received a report of another accident at Delta Drummond Road and Rocky Run Road in the town of Delta.

The caller reported one injury; possible broken leg. Subsequent calls reported a compound fracture.

The injured snowmobiler, James Callison III, 28, of Plymouth, Minn., was driving a snowmobile southbound on Delta Drummond Road within a group of other snowmobilers.

As Callison looked back for the group behind him, the snowmobiles in front slowed to make the corner at Rocky Run Road. Callison did not see the snowmobiles in front of him slowing, and collided with one of the snowmobiles. Callison's leg was pinched between two snowmobiles, resulting in a leg injury.

A helicopter was requested by Iron River Ambulance, and Callison was airlifted to St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth.

The accident occurred around 11:50 p.m.

Shelley Nelson is the editor of the Superior Telegram, owned by Forum Communications Co.