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Investigation into fatal snowmobile death closed

HATTON -- Authorities have closed their investigation of a snowmobile crash that killed a young boy in January near Hatton, but they could not determine its cause.

HATTON -- Authorities have closed their investigation of a snowmobile crash that killed a young boy in January near Hatton, but they could not determine its cause.

After several month of investigation, law enforcement agencies were unable to determine what caused the crash that killed 10-year-old Mason Moen, Thompson, N.D. Nine-year-old Brody Johnson, Hatton, was injured in the crash.

Moen and Johnson were riding a 1998 Polaris snowmobile around 4:15 p.m. Jan. 11 about 4 miles northwest of Hatton when the driver lost control of the vehicle near Second Avenue Northeast and 30th Avenue Northwest, according to the Highway Patrol. The snowmobile jumped over the roadway, crashed and rolled in a field. Mason died at the scene and Brody was taken to a hospital in Fargo for serious injuries.

Investigators estimate the snowmobile was traveling at 50 mph, North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Adam Dvorak said.

Investigators could not determine who was driving the snowmobile at the time of the crash, and Johnson could not remember what happened prior to the crash, Dvorak said.

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It is also unknown whether the boys were wearing helmets at the time of the crash because the helmets were removed from the scene before troopers arrived to investigate. Dvorak added there are conflicting accounts of whether the boys had the helmets on or if they came off during the accident.

In the final report, troopers noted both helmets were adult-sized and had not appeared to have been in a crash.

Grand Forks County State's Attorney David Jones reviewed the case for possible criminal charges but did not file any.

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