Lawmaker hurt while snowmobiling with colleague

Updated 1:20 p.m.

A state senator injured in a snowmobile crash near Motley, Minn., on Friday suffered several broken bones when a high-speed turn sent him flying off the machine he was riding. 

two lawmakers speak at a podium
Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, (right) appeared with Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller at a Capitol news conference on Thursday. On Friday Jasinski was in a snowmobile accident involving another senator and had to be airlifted to a hospital.
Brian Bakst | MPR News

Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, was hospitalized after the crash. He broke three ribs and his pelvis and suffered a fractured vertebrae. But he said in a statement Monday he expects to make a full recovery and will continue to work remotely.  

Jasinski, 55, and fellow GOP Sen. Mark Johnson of East Grand Forks were participating in a trail ride organized by Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association.

The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office initially said Monday that Jasinski was thrown from his sled when he and Johnson collided in a turn on the trail. The accident happened in Scandia Valley Township.

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But in an updated statement Monday afternoon, the office said Jasinski lost control in a 90-degree turn and was thrown off his snowmobile and that Johnson then struck the unoccupied machine with his snowmobile.

Johnson, 38, was not injured, according to the sheriff's department. 

Several agencies responded to the scene, and Jasinski said he was flown in a North Memorial helicopter ambulance to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. 

“While the physical recovery may be long, I’m ready to participate with remote access for hearings and floor sessions and fully engage in this session,” Jasinski said. “I also will be in regular communication with Senate staff and my legislative assistant to continue to provide the best constituent services to my district. I want my constituents to know they can continue to reach out for assistance, and I will do whatever I can to help.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Minnesota lawmakers have been able to take part in meetings via internet hookups and vote even if they don’t come to the floor.

A formal sheriff's department report on the accident has not yet been released.