Snowmobile accident claims life of Fredonia man

Twenty-three-year-old thrown from machine he was riding on with friend
Ozaukee Press staff

a snowmobile crash Saturday in Forest County after he was ejected from the snowmobile he was a passenger on and was struck by a second snowmobile.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, the two snowmobiles were traveling east at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, on a snowmobile trail across frozen Pickerel Lake in Forest County when the driver of the first snowmobile and its passenger, Austin W. Bares, were ejected.

Bares was then struck by the second snowmobile, which was traveling behind the first as part of the same group. 

Bares died from his injuries before a medical flight could evacuate him to a hospital, the DNR said.

Lt. Roy Zellmer with the DNR’s Bureau of Law Enforcement said alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.

The crash is still under investigation. The State Patrol and the Forest County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

Bares’ mother, Cathy Wiedmer, said her son and the two men he was with were friends and that they had gone to the area to attend a snowmobiling event being held there that weekend.

Bares’ Facebook page is populated with many pictures of him and friends snowmobiling, hunting or engaging in other outdoor activities.

“He was doing what he loved with the people he loved” when he died, Wiedmer said. 

The other two men were uninjured.

Bares was a 2014 graduate of Ozaukee High School and graduated from Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend in 2016 after studying to be a tool and die maker. He was employed as an apprentice tool and die maker in Germantown.

A funeral for Bares is planned for Saturday.

The crash on Pickerel Lake was one of five fatal snowmobile crashes over the weekend, the DNR said. The others occurred in Calumet, Dunn, Iron and Langlade counties.


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