WATCH: A snowmobile crash that claimed two young lives over the weekend is a grim reminder to all riders. As Aaron Streck tells us, it set snowmobile safety week in Saskatchewan off on a somber note.
SASKATOON – Marcel Voyer has been sledding for more than 40 years. The avid snowmobiler has also been teaching safety for two decades.
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“We find that people have the tendency once they put that helmet on to kind of forget some of the basic things they should be thinking of the alcohol, drugs, speed, attitude, riding to fast for conditions,” said Voyer, who is a director and safety instructor at the Saskatoon Snowmobile Club.
One of the reasons Voyer became involved in snowmobile safety was an accident years back near Nipawin, Sask.
“I feel for the families, I feel sad for them, I feel sad for the sport, these things just don’t have to happen,” said Voyer.
This year’s Saskatchewan snowmobile safety week got off to a sombre start.
A 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man were killed Friday after their snowmobiles collided head-on near the top of an approach along Highway 22 near Southey, Sask.
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“I’ve got 14 years service, I kind of have been all over the province and this is the first fatality with snowmobiles I’ve been to” said Cpl. Conrad Logan, with Southey/Strasbourg RCMP. “It’s not that snowmobile accidents or fatalities on snowmobiles are frequent, we do know it happens and it can happen as easily on a snowmobile as it would on an ATV or in a boat.”
A roadside memorial has been set up at the scene of the collision. The fatal crash marked the first of the season in Saskatchewan.
Police say alcohol may have been a factor.
“We know that most incidents tend to happen at dark in unfamiliar terrain off of the groomed trail system and sometimes under the influence of alcohol and when you add all of those things together it certainly increases the risk for an incident,” said Rick Dolezsar, chair of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association.
The young men were among over 11,000 members of the Local 306 Riders Union group. Founder and union president Tylor Engelberts says a tragedy like this makes safety top of mind and is urging riders to take a safety course.
“It kind of reminds us that everybody is vulnerable, I mean they were peers of mine and nobody is excluded, you got to ride safe and people really need to remember to save the drinks for after the ride,” said Engelberts.
The riders unit is collecting donations for the families of the victims killed Friday. PayPal donations can be made to [email protected]苏州夜网 and a steak night is also in the works.