A 14-year old was killed in Jefferson County, Wisconsin on February 10th, 2018 while snowmobiling with friends. The boy and others were following a trail when he misjudged a corner and careened off the road, striking a chain-link fence. By the time medical professionals arrived, it was too late to save him.
Following trails and tracks is a good idea when snowmobiling, but this alone is no guarantee of safety. Though trails indicate previously safe areas and terrain, many things can change between one snowfall and the next. A previously clear path could become tangled with debris. Even between runs, the effect of other vehicles, additional weather, and other environmental factors can cause drastic changes in the safety of a location.
Even if the track is unchanged, all too often these types of trails are not fully and thoroughly investigated regarding safety. Though the trail itself might be safe, even a slight deviation from the course can result in significant injury or death, particularly when negotiating turns, hills, and other changes in elevation of course.
Snowmobiling will always carry some risk, but riders can minimize the risk by using proper safety equipment, traveling at safe speeds, properly maintaining their vehicle, and being very careful about where they ride. Depending upon others to ensure safety is always risky, but a rider should be able to trust well-established trails are reasonably safe.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a snowmobile accident, it is imperative that a full investigation take place to determine the cause of the incident. Though driver error, driver intoxication, and a variety of other factors could have come into play, a mechanical malfunction is also a possibility. Please consult with an experienced attorney about your case.