Authorities identify snowmobiler found dead in northern Rice County



A snowmobiler who was reported missing early Sunday morning has died.

Chad Daniel VanZuilen, 37, of Dundas, reportedly left a Webster Township residence on his snowmobile and did not arrive at his destination in Northfield, according to a release from the Rice County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and Northfield Fire & Rescue personnel were dispatched around 1:45 a.m. to search for VanZuilen in northern Rice County, including areas in rural Webster, Bridgewater and Forest townships. VanZuilen and his snowmobile were located at approximately 3:45 a.m. in the 6000 block of Hazelwood Avenue just northwest of the I-35/Hwy. 19 intersection.

Investigators believe that VanZuilen, driving alone in blizzard conditions, struck a culvert, according to Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn. He was transported to Northfield Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

VanZuilen worked as a utilities operator for the city of Northfield, and served as a firefighter with Northfield Area Fire and Rescue Services since January 2014.

The Rice County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by Northfield Ambulance.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here