February 20, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Snowmobile deaths continue at a concerning pace in the province, and the OPP is issuing safety warnings to all riders on and off trails. There have been 6 deaths on the trails in Ontario this season. Within 24 hours last week, a teen girl and a 52 year old man died, and a 10 year old driving a snowmobile was hit by a car, all in separate snowmobiling incidents in the province.
Taylor Long, 14, was driving along a section of trail between Henfryn Line and Krauter Line near Listowel in the dark. She was attempting to cross a marked drainage ditch on a snowmobile trail when she ended up in a steep ditch. The snow machine that was following her on the trail also went into the ditch where it hit and killed Ms. Long. The driver of the second machine was a friend of Ms. Long and suffered minor injuries. The OPP indicated that alcohol was not involved and no charges are pending in the case.
In a second event a 10 year old snowmobile driver was hit by a minivan when crossing the road in Lakeshore, Essex County. The boy was hit, rushed to hospital with serious injuries. The investigation of the accident is continuing.
Within 24 hours of the first accident, and third one was reported. OPP were investigating reports of a missing snowmobile driver in Elgin County. They were called shortly after midnight by a concerned family who had been searching for hours to find the man. His machine and body were found in a treed area and did not appear to be on a marked trail. Visibility was poor at the time of the crash.
The OFSC reported the following summary of the OPP’s 10 year summary of deaths on the trails. You may find it interesting.
Posted on 22 Jan 2020 | by KTXdiq
(ORILLIA, ON) – With Snowmobile Safety Week underway this week, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has released a ten-year data report on snowmobile fatalities, which officers hope will encourage snowmobilers to avoid the recurring behaviours that contributed to the majority of the incidents over the past decade.
During the past 10 snowmobile seasons (2009-2019), the OPP has investigated 175 snowmobile fatalities throughout the province. Among the findings in the report, excessive speed, loss of control, driving too fast for the conditions and ability impaired by alcohol were listed as the top contributing factors. In fact, alcohol was involved in almost half (45 per cent) of the deaths.
Another compelling fact is that almost half (45 per cent) of the snowmobilers who died were traveling on frozen lakes or rivers at the time of the incident. The circumstances that led to the deaths include intentionally driving onto open water (puddle jumping/water skipping), breaking through the ice and collisions with other snowmobiles and natural landmarks. (See complete data graphic below).
“Whether you are a beginner or seasoned snowmobiler, it is important to avoid all manner of risk while enjoying the thousands of kilometres of diverse, scenic snowmobile trails Ontario has to offer. Maintaining control of your snowmobile at all times and never making alcohol or drugs part of your ride will go a long way to keeping snowmobilers and their passengers safe this season.” — Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation
“Our OFSC Interactive Trail Guide is an excellent tool for keeping snowmobilers well-informed about the status of trails throughout Ontario. The OFSC, in partnership with the OPP is counting on all snowmobilers to take full responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of their passengers and fellow riders this season.” — Andrew WALASEK, Director, Stakeholder Relations, OFSC
The OPP is reminding operators that no ice is safe ice. All riders should ensure they use proper safety equipment in addition to wearing appropriate outerwear for the environmental conditions they may encounter. Snowmobile Safety Week runs from January 18 to 26, 2020.