416-703-2402 Local
1-888-378-3388 Toll Free

St. Thomas woman killed in thirteenth fatal snowmobile crash this season

OPP continues to investigate cause of accident while reminding enthusiasts of safety concerns

A St. Thomas, Ontario woman has become the thirteenth person to be killed in a snowmobile accident in Ontario this season, according to Canoe.ca. The 53-year-old woman was killed on February 23 when her snowmobile veered of the trail and crashed into a tree south of Listowel, Ontario

OPP are investigating

The precise cause of the accident has yet to be determined, but according to the OPP the woman was the operator of the vehicle. It is not yet clear whether she lost control of her snowmobile or if some other factor may have contributed to the accident.

Police say she was on a trail that was groomed by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. The OFSC maintains a network of rural trails throughout the province for snowmobile enthusiasts to make use of.

Trails are still the safest option

While this current accident highlights the dangers of snowmobiling even on groomed trails, police insist that sticking to groomed trails is still the safest option for snowmobilers.

Of the 13 snowmobile fatalities in Ontario so far this season, the St. Thomas woman’s death is only the second to occur on a groomed OFSC trail.

Most snowmobile accidents this season have taken place on roads, where vehicle traffic can make for dangerous situations. In some cases, alcohol can also lead to serious collisions. OPP are warning snowmobilers to slow down no matter where they are and to never drive a snowmobile while intoxicated.

Accidents can lead to liability claims

While it is not yet clear what factors led to the above incident, this case does highlight just how serious snowmobile crashes can be for victims. Injuries sustained in a snowmobile accident can be grave and, in some cases, may require the patient to seek long-term medical care.

Issues of liability often arise surrounding such accidents, especially if a snowmobile trail was not properly maintained or if dangers were not clearly marked out. For example, in 2011 a Manitoba woman riding on a snowmobile was killed after she struck a low hanging guy wire. According to CBC News, the woman’s family subsequently launched a lawsuit against both the snowmobile clubs responsible for the trail and Manitoba Hydro for failing to clearly identify the guy wire.

Other issues of liability can also arise if the accident was at least partially attributable to a snowmobile that was improperly manufactured. Due to the high medical expenses often associated with such collisions, anybody involved in a snowmobile accident should seek legal counsel as quickly as possible to discuss what compensation may be available.

The personal injury law firm BC LLP has handled many cases involving fatality claims and serious personal injury as a result of snowmobile accidents and poorly maintained and poorly signed snowmobile trails. Too often fatalities and spinal and brain injury cases result from the increasing incidence of snowmobile accidents in Ontario. Contact BC LLP to protect your or your family member’s right to recovery.