Snowmobile crashes, kills one dog, injures another

The Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division, continues to seek information related to a hit-and-run snowmobile crash that killed one dog and seriously injured a second dog along Simonelli Road in Fruitland Township of Muskegon County on the evening of Feb. 16.
Tribune Staff
Feb 25, 2014

At about 7:30 p.m. two Fruitland Township residents were at the end of a driveway while snow was being cleared and mail was being retrieved from a mailbox along this lightly traveled rural road. Two vehicles were visible at the end of the driveway with tractor lights illuminating the road at the time of the incident. 

Two Brittany Spaniels, owned by one of the residents, briefly ran into the gravel roadway and were returning to the drive when a lone snowmobile approaching from the north, traveling the center of the roadway at a high rate of speed. The snowmobile continued at high speed, striking both dogs within 20 feet of the owner and witness. The suspect vehicle did not slow or brake prior to or after the collision. One dog died on scene after being thrown 114 feet, and the second dog required emergency care and surgery in Grand Rapids with veterinary bills totaling more than $6,000. 

The snowmobile was last observed at the intersection of Simonelli and Lakewood roads. Conservation Officers and local law enforcement have been working leads related to this incident, but continue to seek additional information. Investigators may be seeking a mid- to late-1990s Polaris snowmobile, dark in color, being operated by a lone occupant. This snowmobile may have left the Berry Junction Trail or the City of Whitehall just prior to the incident and may have been returning to Fruitland or the Laketon Township area at the time of the crash.

Snowmobiles in Muskegon County may operate to the extreme right of the “right of way” or plowed portion of the roadway.  Speeds may not exceed those posted or designated to normal vehicular traffic.  Under Michigan Snowmobile and Motor Vehicle Code laws, snowmobiles involved in a crash causing property damage or human injury, must stop at the scene to provide information. 

Information may be provided to the DNR Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800 or the Muskegon Silent Observer at 72-Crime. 



If the dogs were in the road when struck there is no violation. However the operator should have stopped if he knew he struck them.


These dogs were in the road right away from the reports last week. The dogs were owned by a DNR officer. The question is if he had NO damage to snowmobile does he need to stop. Their is NO law that requires anyone to stop and report if they hit an animal unless property is damage being car, fence, yard, mailbox... Yes I do think the right thing is to stop and attempt to make contact with the animals owner... sorry for your loss of mans best friend...


Aaahh ha, I wondered why the DNR was handling this. This case should be handled by the Sheriff Dept. so there is no impropriety. The dogs are "property" (just like a mailbox) and thus the driver should have stopped and reported the crash. However, per state law dogs are not to run on the road or anywhere else. Will the owner be cited for allowing his dogs to run? What if the dog would have flown up and injured or killed the driver? I bet the dog owner would be in big trouble wouldn't he? The dog owner should quit while he is still ahead. Mark it off to a lesson learned the hard way. (sorry for his loss)


The way it was reported yesterday is a DNR officer was clearing a driveway and someone stopped to talk to him. That persons dogs got out of the vehicle and as he was trying to get them back in, they were hit. DNR is investigating because Snowmobiles fall under their jurisdiction and Snowmobiles are required to stop at any accident that causes damage or injury.


The DNR officer was the neighbor plowing, not the owner of the dogs. Being as he was witness at the scene I am sure that is why the DNR along with local sheriff's department officials are investigating and handling the case.


Sounds like they're wasting a lot of tax payers money over someone that couldn't keep their dogs in check!!!!!!!!!!


Wow, what a bunch of cretins y'all are....the fact that the snowmobile was speeding, down the middle of the road, instead of over on the shoulder where he should've been, doesn't even raise an eyebrow with any of you?

The guy was probably drunk and didn't even realize he hit a living being. One that had feelings, unlike you goobers.

Man, what a sorry lot of humans.


Hey LTA, when I'm out riding and come up on some of these geniuses' plowing snow you'll find me in the center of the road or on the other side. If anyone knows anything about snowmobiling (which it doesn't sound like this crew does) you appear to be moving a lot faster than what you are actually traveling.
"DRUNK SNOWMOBILING", naw.. that never happens!!!!
and besides, It was a freaking dog...I have two of them but if they run out into the road and get hit, it's my fault, not the driver of the car, snowmobile, lawn tractor, golf cart, pony carriage!!!


Clueless is no way to go thru life.

So, I suppose when you see a possible "situation" up ahead you don't slow down to assess the situation, or get ready to do some possible course correction, or maybe even slow down or stop if you see a problem developing? You just barrel thru there at 70mph right? Damn the torpedo's, full speed ahead right? I've got the right of way, dogs be dam***! You can't possibly be serious.

Drunk snowmobiling doesn't happen, right, just like there's no such thing as drunk boaters either I bet.

It's amazing to me how you and the other nitwits here can so casually miss the point of this whole experience. I sure as h*** hope none of you goobers ever end up pulling jury duty. We'll get even more of the twisted justice that's so prevalent these days.

It's really too bad the moron on the sled didn't get his neck broken by flying dog as he zoomed thru there, with total disregard for anyone's safety, including his own! That would've been instant Karma. As it is, we may have to wait awhile for it now.

Sure hope you fine, upstanding citizens ain't church goers...from what I hear that deity of yours doesn't like you having no respect for any life form.

wow, thanks for further eroding what little faith I have left in human nature.


The snowmobile driver should have stopped by law or not and is a jerk for not having done so.


The real jerk is the ahole who let is dog out to run into the road, I would make sure I filed a police report because the person who let there dog run free is going to pay for the damage there dog caused to my proprty


You're a freakin' idiot and a s*** stirrer. I feel sorry for your dog. He's sooo much smarter than the humanoid who keeps him caged.


Hey my cat got hit by a car last year.... it was not in the paper ...... I feel like I was ripped off!!! Maybe if I was a DNR Officer..


Another idiot heard from......

Do you not understand that it's not because the guy was a DNR officer, but because the moron on the snowmobile broke multiple laws? Try to focus on the real problem. He wasn't a relative of yours was he?

Maybe your cat shoulda been on a leash huh? hun hun hun.....


yep guess so ..... my dogs were uncontrolled causing a traffic hazard... the guy tried to avoid the dogs.... hmmm who knows what really happened other than the DNR officer did not have control of his pets..


mutt owner = good person
pussy owner = idiot
Bad mutt owner = poor innocent victim
Snowmobiler trying to avoid uncontrolled mutts out in road while going around stopped car = convicted criminal

Yeah, they should have stopped. But this paper has really gone to the dogs!


Okay now pay attention, I will type it slowly for you. It wasn't the Officers dogs. The Officer was clearing a driveway and someone else stopped to talk to him. The DNR is involved because all Snowmobile, ATV incidents fall under their jurisdiction. BTW, sorry to hear about the cat.


I retract my statement then, that is completely different than what was initially reported by anyone. But now that I look further, ever article I find reports it slightly differently.

This one is completely off and is, I'm sorry to say, where I got my info.

Former Grandhavenite

If a group of space aliens observed a person carrying around a poop bag and cleaning up after their dog, they may justifiably be confused about which of the two life forms is the property and which is the owner.


I realize you're trying to be funny, but there's quite a bit of truth to that statement also. However it's kinda off topic for this issue bud, (Not that we don't get off-topic every day here...).
It might play better on the other thread where the rest of the dog haters are hangin' out.

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