Two snowmobile accidents underline the importance of caution

Castlegar Source
By Castlegar Source
December 29th, 2010

Police responded to two serious snowmobile crashes in the region in as many days, perhaps offering a cautionary tale to local snowmobile enthusiasts.

The Fernie RCMP responded to a report of a fatal snowmobile collision in the Burton Lake Rd area off of Hwy 3 on Dec. 27 at around 4 p.m., accordign to RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

“RCMP, BCAS and the Fernie Search and Rescue team attended the scene of the fatal collision, where they found a 44-year-old Elko man deceased after having suffered a head injury, “he said. “The snowmobiler was amongst a group of three sledders who were using a known trail at the end of Burton Lake Rd. The man was ahead of the other two and out of view, when he collided with a wooden jump structure which is used during summer months by off road cyclists.

“The man was wearing a helmet at the time, however the impact was severe enough to breach the integrity of the helmet. The Fernie RCMP and BC Coroner Service are continuing their investigation into the man’s death.”

The following day, Tuesday, police then responded to an even-more dramatic scenario ….but one with a happy ending.

“A 53-year-old man from Creston was successfully removed from an 80-foot deep mine shaft Tuesday, after the RCMP received a call from fellow snowmobilers who were with the man when he fell into the shaft,” Moskaluk said.

“Creston RCMP and Nelson Search and Rescue attended an area 30 kilometres up the Bayonne Creek Forest Service Rd … off Highway 3. It is believed that the mine shaft opening was covered by snow at the time of the fall.”

He said the search and rescue helicopter was used to remove the man once he was out of the mine shaft. He was flown to Creston Valley Hospital and, as of yesterday, was in stable condition, suffering from a broken ankle and wrist.

“The area is well used by back country enthusiasts both mechanized and non-mechanized users. It must be noted that this is an area where there had been a lot of mining activity in past decades and is known to have various abandoned shafts and other hazards.”

Snowmobilers are encouraged to exercise caution while enjoying the winter season.

Please be reminded to be aware of the areas you are using, go in equipped for an emergency and heed to weather and snow condition ratings before heading out into the BC back country.

Categories: GeneralSports


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