Northfield firefighter dies in Rice County snowmobile crash

Published 7:07 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

FARIBAULT — A Northfield firefighter has died in a snowmobile crash in Rice County.

Sheriff’s officials said rescuers found Chad Van Zuilen underneath his snowmobile that was partially buried by snow during last weekend’s blizzard. They spotted the ski of his snowmobile in Webster Township. The 37-year-old firefighter was pronounced dead at Northfield Hospital early Sunday.

Sheriff Troy Dunn said the emergency room waiting area was filled with law enforcement officers and firefighters hoping doctors would be able to save him. The Hennepin County medical examiner said Van Zuilen died of asphyxia.

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