Boy, 13, dies in state forest crash

by Jim Boyle
A 13-year-old Coon Rapids boy has died from injuries sustained in a snowmobile accident in a Sand Dunes State Forest parking lot in Orrock Township.

The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the scene at approximately 2:22 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 to the 14800 block of 233rd Avenue. Deputies arrived to find Mitchell Johnson unconscious with head injuries, according to Sheriff Joel Brott.

CPR was performed until paramedics arrived. However, they pronounced the boy dead at the scene.

Mitchell was wearing a helmet and had earned a certificate for snowmobile safety.

Brott stated that investigators were called to the scene and it appears that Johnson was on a snowmobile crossing the parking lot and approaching a snow bank.

“As Johnson went over the snow bank, his snowmobile left the ground and was traveling at a high rate of speed when it landed,” Brott stated. “Johnson was unable to turn the snowmobile to avoid hitting a group of trees.”

Nothing indicated that Mitchell was trying to show off, according to the sheriff’s report.

Family members said the boy’s organs will be donated for transplant.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by Big Lake Fire, New River Ambulance and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office mapped the scene.

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