Birkie skier killed on Lake Superior
A skier struck by a vehicle on Lake Superior after the Book Across the Bay festivities died of severe head injuries, likely within minutes of being hit, according to a statement issued March 3 by the Bayfield County Sheriff's Department.
An earlier news report on the death of 23-year-old Bjorn Norgaard highlighted the fact that his body was found on the ice about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20, roughly eight hours after he was hit.
At the time of the collision, the popular Northland College graduate was skiing across Chequamegon Bay, from Washburn to Ashland. He was following the ice path used for the Book Across the Bay, but well after the race and tour had concluded.
The driver, a 16-year-old boy, turned himself into the sheriff's department the afternoon of the 20th.
Authorities were waiting for the results of a blood screen before referring the case to the Bayfield County District Attorney's office for a decision on charges. It as expected the results would be available in about six weeks.
Norgaard had planned to ski his fifth Birkebeiner on February 26. His obituary listed hunting, hiking, camping, fishing and skiing as outdoor activities he greatly enjoyed. He had worked as a fly fishing guide in Alaska and was a certified firefighter.
"Among his many accomplishments was swimming in the Ganges River in India, trekking in the Australian Outback, and fishing in the Canadian waters. For Bjorn, life was about the simple things - a canoe, his dog and paddling toward the sunset on Otter Bay," according to his obituary.
Before starting their race, fifth-wave Birkie skiers shared a moment of silence to remember Norgaard, who would have started with them. More than a half-dozen of Norgaard's friends and relatives skied the Birkie in his honor.
It was reminiscent of the respect given to Greg Marr, editor and founder of Silent Sports magazine, who died December 19, 2003 while cross-country skiing. His wife, Martha Fullmer, greeted skiers at the start of the 2004 Birkie.
- Rock River named National Water Trail
- Ice Age Trail Alliance seeks accreditation
- Wis. Conservation Congress challenged
- Bike friendly rankings: WI & MN fall, IL & MI rise
- Student mountain biking in Wis. gets a boost
- Telemark Resort closes again
- 924-mile Mich. trail idea inspires hiker
- Ice Age Trail draws 1.2 million people a year
- Tax nonhunting gear for Mich. conservation?
- Iowa cyclists lobby for 3-foot passing law