STILLWATER, Minn. - With Friday's fresh snow it means winter enthusiasts will be firing up the snowmobiles, but it's also prompting law enforcement to reinforce important messages.
"The new snow takes away your ability to see what the terrain really is,' said Sheriff Deputy Dan Harjes from Washington County. "You can look ahead and see white, but underneath can be thin ice and water."
The family of 22-year old Billy Meister also is urging riders to be safe. Meister, an experienced rider himself, lost his life last Saturday after his snowmobile broke through thin ice on the St. Croix River.
"He was an avid rider and that's why this is so hard to understand," says Tom Meister, Billy's cousin. "It can happen to anyone."
Billy Meister is being remembered as upbeat, well-liked, and dependable.
The Minesota DNR reports five snowmobile-related deaths this winter including one missing rider who is presumed dead. In Wisconsin, there has been 15 snowmobile deaths.
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