Ride in Peace: Snowmobile racer Raysha Renee Nielsen

Publish Date: 
Feb 25, 2014

LOGAN, Utah - Funeral services will be held Feb. 28 for snowmobile racer Raysha Renee Nielsen, who died Feb. 22 after the snowmobile she was riding east of Franklin, Idaho, hit a tree. She was 21.

Nielsen was an up-and-coming snowmobile racer, having competed in hill climbs for the Ski-Doo team. At the Bear Lake Hillclimb Feb. 14 and 15, Nielsen competed in three categories and finished seventh, third and sixth.

Funeral services will be held Feb. 28 at the Smithfield South Stake Center in Smithfield, Utah. To honor Nielsen, services will begin at 1:13 p.m., her snowmobile racing number. A viewing will be held Thursday night at Webb Funeral Home in Preston, Idaho.

Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar said the sled on which Nielsen was riding as a passenger at 3:37 p.m. was making a turn when it suddenly accelerated, hitting a tree. She was reported having severe injuries to her chest. He said efforts to revive Nielsen were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members told the Cache Valley Daily Nielsen was riding the sled because her own sled had broken down earlier in the day.

In addition to competing professionally, Nielsen worked at her parents’ three-dealership business, Renegade Sports. Her father, Rich Gladfelder is president of the Rocky Mountain States Hillclimb Association, and other members of the family also compete.

Nielsen was married to Cory Nielsen and had one son, 3-year-old Traxton.

A memorial fund has been set up at local Wells Fargo branches. Family members are also selling “Ride for Raysha” stickers to benefit her husband and son.

Posted by Holly Wagner