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A 32-year-old man from Cherry was fatally injured while on a snowmobile trip on Monday in the remote Grand Mesa area of western Colorado.
Mike Fonderoli was “fatally injured while riding with a large group of snowmobilers north of Paonia,” according to KKCO-11 News of Grand Junction, Colo. (www.kkco11news.com)
Delta County sheriff Fred McKee told the Colorado press that investigators were trying to piece together the circumstances that led to Fonderoli’s death, the television station reported.
According to the television report, “Fonderoli was air-lifted to a Delta hospital, where staff tried to revive him without success.”
This morning, Delta County's coroner said the preliminary cause of death was abdominal blunt force trauma.
“What a tragic thing to come out here, enjoy yourself and have this happen,” McKee said. “It’s a heads-up to everyone who comes out to unfamiliar territory: Be careful.”
The mountainous, wilderness area where the accident occurred was east and north of Delta and not accessible by cars. The sheriff’s office did not go to the scene, but rather helped direct a rescue helicopter to the site, a Grand Junction journalist said.
The Grand Mesa area is popular in winter for both snowmobiling and hunting. Peru-area acquaintances of Fonderoli said a local group annually takes a snowmobile trip in the west. Acquaintances described the incident as a “freak accident,” and that Fonderoli was struck by his own snowmobile.
T.J. Thone of Ladd, a friend of Fonderoli’s for more than 20 years, called Fonderoli “a great person.”
“He’d do anything for anyone,” Thone said. “If you needed a hand, he was always there to help.”
Hurst Funeral Home, Ladd is handling local arrangements, including a 4-8 p.m. visitation Friday in the funeral home.
Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Patrick's Church, Arlington.
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