Visibility blamed in snowmobile fatality

  • Apr. 5, 2011 6:00 a.m.

By TREENA MIELKE

RCMP are attributing poor visibility as a probable factor in the death of 37-year-old Red Deer man who was killed in a snowmobile accident east of the West Lake Road near Gull Lake last Saturday.

Rimbey Const. Matthew Bentz said Bob deRegt was driving his snowmobile at around 5:45 p.m. on the lake about 200 yards off the shore when he ran into an eight-foot high snowdrift, that propelled the machine into the air. The victim was snowmobiling with a friend on the lake when he hit the snowdrift.

“The impact dislodged the driver,” said Bentz, adding that the snowmobile was travelling at 80 to 90 km/h.

Rimbey Volunteer Fire Department and emergency ambulance crews were at the scene and the victim was pronounced dead at the site.

Bentz said the victim was wearing a helmet and alcohol was not a factor. He said it is possible the victim did not see the drift.

“The visibility was poor. It’s tough to see the bumps and ruts on the lake when everything is extremely white,” he said.