EVANSTON — A snowmobile accident in the Uinta Mountains claimed the life of one out-of-state man on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 7. The accident occurred near Whitney Reservoir.
The Uinta County Fire and Ambulance Facebook page said fire and emergency crews responded to the call along with AirMed. Uinta County Sheriff Doug Matthews confirmed that the fire department and one deputy responded, but said the case was handled by crews out of Summit County, Utah.
Lt. Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call from Uinta County Dispatch at about 12:40 p.m., alerting them that first responders from Uinta County were responding to the call for help.
Wright said the man and two friends were in the Uintas on a three-day snowmobile trip and were not necessarily familiar with the area. The man involved in the accident was about 20 seconds ahead of his friends, heading up a hill that appeared to keep going upward.
However, there was a ridge with a severe drop the riders did not see ahead of time, and the man’s snowmobile went off the drop and was airborne before falling approximately 20 feet. The man’s upper body impacted the snow machine, causing extensive injuries.
All three riders had helmet communication systems and he was able to call his companions to tell them he was hurt and ask for assistance, said Wright. The two men provided medical aide, and a survival group that happened to be in the area for a class also came upon the accident and offered assistance.
Wright said that what started as an injury call became a call of CPR in progress, and AirMed was summoned. Rescuers performed CPR for more than an hour but their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful and the man was pronounced deceased on the scene.
Wright identified the victim as a male in his late 30s from Florida while his two companions are from North Carolina.