A Michigan snowmobile season that began as disappointing turned tragic with the deaths of eight men from Thursday to Sunday.
Five of the men drowned when their sleds crashed through thin ice across the state. Officials said the lack of snow and recent cold snap may have lured those anxious for a ride onto frozen lakes and rivers.
The unusual number of deadly accidents came days before the Tip-Up-Town winter festival that draws thousands of snowmobilers to Houghton Lake, where two of the weekend deaths occurred. The timing prompted state officials to warn snowmobile riders to stay off the ice and stick to trails.
Three of four deaths in Grand Traverse County were in two incidents on Long Lake, about five miles west of Traverse City.