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3 injured in snowmobile crashes

Published 8:38pm Monday, January 16, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — Weekend snowmobile crashes in Pokagon and Howard townships injured three people.

• Cass County Sheriff Joseph M. Underwood Jr. reports that, on Sunday, his office investiaged a personal-injury snowmobile crash that occurred on the snowmobile trails near the intersection of Frost Street and Sink Road in Pokagon Township.

Huntertown residents Justin Reed, 41, and Brian Widenhoefer, 36, were eastbound when operator Reed failed to see and negotiate the upcoming downhill embankment, causing the snowmobile to vault, ejecting both occupants from the machine.  They were transported to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac for treatment. Helmets were used. Alcohol is not a factor, deputies said.

• Underwood also reports that on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. his office investigated a personal-injury crash in Howard Township.

Chicago resident Ana Larocca, 49, was riding her snowmobile south on Conrad Road when she turned left to enter her driveway, crossing the road in front of another southbound vehicle.

This vehicle, driven by 23-year-old Dowagiac resident Taylor Townsend, attempted to avoid this collision, causing her to strike a tree.

Townsend was not injured. Larocca was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind., for treatment.

All parties were using seatbelts or helmets and alcohol was not believed to be a factor, deputies said.

Assisting the Cass County Sheriff’s Office was the Howard Township Fire Department, Howard Township First Responders and SMCAS Ambulance.

This case also remains under investigation.

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