MSP: Icy trail conditions likely contributed to fatal snowmobile crash Sunday

Matthew Stephen Gardner lost control of his snowmobile while negotiating a turn and struck a tree, according to the press release. Gardner, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, did not survive.

BOON — Investigators say adverse weather conditions were primarily responsible for a snowmobile crash that led to the death of a Grand Rapids man.

According to a Michigan State Police press release, 28-year-old Matthew Stephen Gardner, of Grand Rapids, died Sunday following a snowmobile crash in Wexford County.

At approximately 12:55 p.m. Sunday, troopers were dispatched to the crash on trail 3715 in Boon Township.

Gardner lost control of his snowmobile while negotiating a turn and struck a tree, according to the press release. Gardner, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, did not survive.

Lt. Derrick Carroll, public information officer for MSP District 7, said drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash.

He said Gardner was in town snowmobiling with family members when the incident occurred. One of the other family members toppled off their snowmobile but they were unharmed, Carroll said.

Slick trail conditions caused by recent snowfall and mixed precipitation likely contributed to Gardner being unable to negotiate the turn, Carroll said.

Troopers were assisted at the scene of the crash by the Boon Township Fire Department, Selma Township Fire Department, North Flight EMS and Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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