Lake snowmobile victims showed high alcohol levels
BAYFIELD, Wis. — The two snowmobilers who were found dead on Lake Superior near Madeline Island on Feb. 20 were both extremely intoxicated, according to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources investigation.
Joshua Reynolds, 30, and Mark J. Backes, 38, both of La Pointe, were found dead the morning after they were reported missing. Their snowmobile broke through the ice of the lake.
Reynolds had a blood-alcohol level of .286 and Backes’ level was .260, according to the WDNR’s fatality summary for the 2012-’13 winter season.
In Wisconsin, with a blood-alcohol content reading of .08, a driver is considered to be intoxicated, but alcohol may affect driving skills at BACs of .05 or even lower.
Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan said both men were last seen at 9:30 p.m. that night leaving Bayfield on the same machine. A caller stated the two men never arrived at their destination.
The snowmobile was found partially submerged, with one man in the water just south of Madeline Island near the South Channel.