Snowmobiler's death near Jackson ruled to be accident

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JACKSON, Wyo. - Authorities have determined that the unusual snowmobile wreck in northwest Wyoming that killed a 33-year-old North Dakota man was an accident.

Andrew Grossnickle, of West Fargo, died Dec. 30 after becoming separated from his snow machine. A preliminary autopsy determined that Grossnickle died from blunt force trauma to the left chest.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that investigators were perplexed initially because the snowmobile was not damaged.

Typically, fatal snowmobile accidents involve the machine crashing into a tree or rolling over the victim.

But Teton County Sheriff's Lt. Slade Ross says it appears that Grossnickle fell off the machine or contacted a tree while hanging off the snowmobile.

Grossnickle was among a group of eight friends but no one saw the accident.