Snowmobile crash claims life of Milford man

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Funeral services were held Tuesday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake for a Milford man who was involved in a snowmobile crash near Sioux Rapids.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources on Saturday said it is still investigating the fatal crash, which happened at about 8 p.m. Thursday in Clay County.

That's when Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers were dispatched to a snowmobile crash on the Little Sioux River near 4930 245th Avenue. The driver, 39-year-old Justin Robert Stahly, was driving his Polaris Assault 800 snowmobile northbound on the frozen river when he struck a tree.

Authorities were on scene for close to three hours.

Stahly was pronounced dead at the scene. Iowa DNR officials said he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and was riding with a group of snowmobilers.

The deputies and DNR officials on site were assisted by Webb Rescue and Sioux Rapids Fire & Rescue.

Stahly graduated from Harris-Lake Park and earned associate degrees in applied science and agribusiness technology from Iowa Lake Community College in Emmetsburg, according to memorial information from the family. He farmed in the Milford and Lake Park areas alongside his father, Jeff. They formed and operated Stahly Family Farms.

The family remembers a Minnesota Vikings fan with a love of the outdoors — Justin enjoyed camping and canoeing in addition to snowmobiling.

He is survived by his wife, Christine Stahly of Milford; son, Jake and daughter, Hayden; parents, Jeff and Marlys Stahly; grandparents, Robert and Joann Stahly; sister, Janna (Trevor) Christiansen and their children, Caleb, Noah and Andrew; sister, Marcee (Ben) Irlbeck and their children, Kaia and Keaton.

He'll also be remembered by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Burial was at Milford Cemetery. Turner Jenness Funeral Home handled arrangements on behalf of the family.

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