Chesterton Tribune



Snowmobile crash kills northern Indiana man

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ROCHESTER, Ind. (AP) - Indiana conservation officers say a northern Indiana man has died in a snowmobile accident.

Officers say friends found the body of 51-year-old James Downs III of Rochester about 6 a.m. Sunday on a frozen lake in the city about 40 miles south of South Bend. He had been snowmobiling alone a few hours earlier.

Officers say they believe Downs was approaching the lake’s shoreline and turned too sharply, throwing him from the sled. He was found pinned under the snowmobile.

The accident was one of several causing injury in Indiana over the weekend.

On Sunday Travis Eppert, 41, of Goshen sustained rib fractures and internal injuries. Eppert was driving a snowmobile with passenger, Stacey Callahan, 43, of Goshen when he drove into a snowbank with enough speed to cause the snowmobile to go airborne, the DNR said.

When the machine hit the ground it caused Epperts’ chest to slam into the handlebars. He sustained rib fractures and internal injuries. Epperts was illegally on Norfolk Southern Rail Road property when he crashed, officers said.

DNR officers also investigated a snowmobile accident in Dearborn County Saturday. Jessica M. Sellers, 34, of Cincinnati was driving a snowmobile at Country View Golf when the accident occurred, the DNR said. When she attempted to cross a concrete bridge on the golf course she lost control while maneuvering down a slope and hit the bridge. The snowmobile rolled over pinning her beneath it.

Sellers was transported by EMS to Dearborn County Hospital and later transferred to University of Cincinnati medical center.


Posted 1/20/2014