BRANDON -- Friends and family are mourning the loss of a Lenore, Man., man who died after a mysterious snowmobile accident.
Gerald MacDonald, 55, died Wednesday. The details of how he died are unknown, although police said it wasn't a collision.
"We'll never know what happened in this situation because the snowmobile only travelled about 30 feet,"said Brian Enns, MacDonald's brother-in-law.
About 4 p.m. on New Year's Day, Virden RCMP and area emergency personnel were called to a farmyard in the RM of Woodworth, where a man was reported trapped by a snowmobile.
MacDonald was found pinned between the track of the snowmobile and the machine itself. The RCMP said it looked like he was working on the machine in a shed or garage when the mishap occurred.
It is not known how long MacDonald was trapped in the snowmobile track before emergency personnel arrived.
One of his foster children called authorities soon after he was heard screaming for help.
MacDonald was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy in Brandon is scheduled.
Enns said the Assiniboine Valley farmer recently became a grandfather and was eagerly anticipating the birth of his second grandchild.
"His little grandson was the joy of his life," Enns said.
An avid farmer who raised chickens and cattle, MacDonald also worked off the farm for an electrical company, performing power locates on oil leases.
Enns described MacDonald as the quintessential farmer, who at times had a gruff exterior but once you got to know him, he was good-natured.
"He had a big heart," he said.
MacDonald married Enns' sister, Diana, almost three decades ago. The couple have three children of their own --Alyssa, Dallas and Dylan -- and were active foster parents.
Lenore is about 65 kilometres northwest of Brandon.
-- Brandon Sun