Hales Corners (Wisconsin) Speedway owner John Kaishian was critically injured Tuesday in a ski hill accident involving a grooming machine in the maintenance yard of the local ski resort Kaishian operates in the Milwaukee market.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Kaishian, owner of Crystal Ridge ski area, was critically injured Tuesday when part of a snow groomer dropped on him while he and another man were performing routine maintenance on the machine, a ski hill staff member said.

Kaishian and a maintenance employee were working on the Snow Cat near the ski area about 5 p.m. when the machine lost hydraulic fluid, which caused its 1,500-pound tiller to lower onto Kaishian, said Michael Kidd, ski area manager at Crystal Ridge, 7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive. The tiller is the part of the machine that grooms the snow.

Police Lt. Michael Martens said employees and members of the Muskego High School ski team came to Kaishian's aid and lifted the machinery to free him. They accomplished the rescue before emergency personnel arrived, Kidd said.

After Kaishian was pulled out, he briefly stopped breathing but was resuscitated, Kidd said.

Kaishian, 66, was flown by helicopter to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa and was in critical condition Tuesday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Kidd said no one else was injured.

Kaishian, former operator of the Milwaukee Mile track, is a long time Milwaukee businessman with diverse interests in the area. The quarter mile track at Hales Corners near Franklin has been in the news recently as the location of future, long term, non-racing development, according to Jim Wehner, general manager of Midwest Development Corp., which owns the speedway, but it will operate during 2000.

Franklin's population has boomed in recent years and proposals have surfaced for commercial and residential development of the location, but they have not yet come to fruition.

The Milwaukee Journal reported recently that Kaishian, owner of the speedway, had selected a Brookfield firm, Centres Inc., to develop the property on which the track is located, possibly as soon as next year, according to Wehner. The type of development had not been decided, nor was it even certain the project would get under way in 2000.