4 killed in snowmobile accidents


& The Associated Press

SAULT STE. MARIE – A downstate woman died as the result of a fatal snowmobile accident that occurred over the weekend in eastern Upper Peninsula.

That crash was one of four fatal snowmobile accidents in Michigan since Friday.

Deputies from Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office said Terri F. Tarzwell-Klee, 48, of Deckerville, Mich. was driving a Yamaha snowmobile when she lost control on a curve and ran into a tree in Chippewa County’s Trout Lake Township.

Tarzwell-Klee was ejected from her sled and unconscious at the scene.

She was transported to War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie where she died from her injuries, officials said.

Deputies said that just prior to the accident, she had her nine-year-old daughter riding with her and she stopped allowing the girl to switch sleds and ride with her father.

Initial reports indicate that neither excessive speed nor alcohol appears to be a contributing factor.

The accident remains under investigation.

Assisting at the scene was the Department of Natural Resources and Trout Lake Fire and Ambulance.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, three separate snowmobile crashes have claimed the lives of three men.

Authorities say two crashes happened near each other on Trail 35 in Wexford County.

Jeffrey S. Ellens, 51, of Cadillac was killed in a crash Friday night in Cherry Grove Township, near Cadillac. Authorities say it appears he was speeding and hit several trees.

Earlier in the day, 61-year-old Gerald Carter of Clarkston hit trees along Trail 35 and died.

In Gladwin County, the sheriff’s department says a 51-year-old Midland County man was killed about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when a vehicle driven by a 60-year-old drunken relative struck his snowmobile on Secord Lake. It’s in Secord Township, about eight miles northeast of Gladwin.

The victim’s name wasn’t immediately released.