A head-on collision by two snowmobiles around 6:15 p.m. Jan. 2 on a groomed snowmobile trail near Hwy. 169 just south of Aitkin resulted in the death of two Aitkin teenagers, according to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
South Aitkin First Responders, Minnesota State Patrol, Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota DNR responded to the crash.
The two individuals involved were Westin Justen, 18, and Isaac Fulton, 16, both of Aitkin.
A preliminary investigation indicated Fulton was traveling northbound on the west side of the road and Justen was traveling southbound when they collided head-on, causing the fatality of Fulton at the scene and serious injuries to Justen. The trail in that location is straight, level and groomed on both sides of Hwy. 169, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Both were wearing helmets. Further investigation of the incident continues.
Justen was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center. Justen was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center on the afternoon of Jan. 3, 2022.
Aitkin Schools are providing provide counseling for students and it has added support from Northern Pines Services and area ministers to provide any support students and staff may need as well.
A candlelight service for the two teenagers was held Jan. 5 at St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin.