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Two Separate Snowmobile Accidents Leave One Paralyzed, One Dead

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 6:14 am

In McLeod County, over the weekend, a snow covered drainage ditch was the site of two snowmobile crashes in two days. Tragically the two separate incidents left one Glencoe man dead while the other left a Lester Prairie man in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.

On Sunday, 44-year-old Brian Gatz of Lester Prairie crashed his snowmobile when riding with friends along Dairy Road southeast of Glencoe. He was airlifted to HCMC, where his family says he is in the ICU with spinal injuries and is partially paralyzed.

WCCO reports that McLeod County Sheriff’s investigators rushed to the same spot again on Monday, where tragedy struck yet again.

Trent Ondrachek, 26, of Glenccoe was out riding with his younger brother Tanner, and investigators suspect they were following Brian Gatz’s fresh snowmobile tracks when they hit the same spot.

Tanner escaped with minor injuries, but authorities believe his snowmobile struck Trent, who died later at the hospital from severe internal injuries. Trent Ondracheck leaves behind his wife of two years, but even more tragic, they were days away from expecting their first child.

Cautions signs and yellow tape now block off the drainage ditch and warn other snowmobilers of the same danger.

McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann told WCCO that often on rural roads, snow drifts over narrow and deep ditches, and he urges snowmobilers to stay on groomed trails.

Ondrachek will be laid to rest Today in Glencoe, where he has lived all his life.

A fund has been set up for Baby Ondrachek, his unborn child.

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