Man killed in Harvard snowmobile crash

HARVARD, Ill. (WLS) -- A 32-year-old man in far northwest suburban Harvard was killed early Wednesday morning when his snowmobile struck a tree.

The victim was identified as Brandon Shields. Officials said the crash happened around 1 a.m. in a field near the 4400-block of Pagles Road.

Two other people had been snowmobiling with Shields at the time. Officials said one of them flagged down the Harvard Fire crews who responded to the 911 call and used his vehicle to shuttle emergency responders to the scene.

"It would be hard for us to see where this particular accident was, especially since we only had a block number and we had visibility problems with the snow and such," said Deputy Fire Chief Don Davidson, Harvard Fire Department.

An emergency room doctor also arrived at the scene and tried to resuscitate Shields, but he was pronounced dead.

Davidson said some of the first responders were new, probationary fire fighters.

"This is tragic to them, so we'll be watching them. We take care of each other like a family," Davidson said.

Illinois State Conservation Police are investigating and at this point, it's not known if speed or alcohol played a role in the crash.

A spokesperson said it's been a while since there's been a significant snowfall but encouraged people to take precautions when snowmobiling, like knowing the terrain and not speeding.
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