Snowmobiler in northern WI ‘purposely’ drives into Iditarod musher, injures multiple dogs

Local News

(WFRV) – A well-known musher, who is the grandson of the Iditarod founder, says a snowmobiler in northern Wisconsin ‘purposely’ went towards him and hit multiple dogs.

According to Ryan Redington, who is an Alaskan musher and two-time winner of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, he and his mush dogs were hit by a snowmobiler in northern Wisconsin. Redington said the snowmobiler ‘purposely’ went on the left side of the trail at a high rate of speed and hit multiple dogs.

Redington posted information in the Bayfield County Snowmobile Alliance, which has been shared nearly 900 times.

Redington’s training partner Sarah, said the driver stopped briefly, but then drove away at high speeds. Sarah also started a gofundme for the injured dogs that already has raised nearly $40,000.

The incident reportedly happened on Jan. 8 around 6:45 p.m. on the Tri-County Corridor Trail in Bayfield County. Redington says he has filed a police report.

In a post to the Bayfield County Snowmobile Alliance, Redington said the driver just stopped at Skerbeck Road and was going down the trail on the right side. The driver then sped up and went near the edge of the trail where Redington’s team was located.

Redington said he knew he had to tip his sled off the trail otherwise he was going to get hit. Multiple dogs were injured, including the dog right in front of the sled. That dog reportedly has his back legs broken in three different spots.

Sarah mentions two dogs that received injuries from the incident, ‘Willy’ and ‘Wildfire’. Wildfire is the dog that had his leg broken in three places. Willy was described to have lacerations and a badly bruised foreleg.

Wildfire will reportedly return to Mission Animal Hospital on Jan. 13 for another surgery.

Willy led Redington’s team to victory in the 2021 Kobuk440 and Wildfire was in the winning team of the 2021 Jr. Iditarod as well as finishing the 846 mile 2021 Iditarod with Redington in 7th place.

It was also mentioned that when mushing after sunset, their lead dogs wear blinking harnesses or collars and the mushers wear LEAD headlamps with ‘very strong beams’.

Redington is the grandson of Iditarod founder Joe Redington, Sr.

Bayfield County is about 270 miles northwest of Green Bay. Local 5 will continue to update this story.

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