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Snowmobile crashes send two to the hospital

Snowmobile crashes send two to hospital
Both flown to Bend by Air Life chopper; one serious, other fair condition

From news sources
Sunday, February 22, 2004 9:07 PM

February 22 - Two snowmobilers visiting Central Oregon over the weekend were flown by Air Life helicopter to St. Charles Medical Center with serious injuries following a pair of unrelated crashes, authorities said.

On Sunday, around 12:30 p.m., Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to Snowmobile Trail 5 in the Devils Lake area on a report of an injured snowmobiler. Deputies and four SAR volunteers responded to the call, said Deputy Rhett Hemphill.

Jamie Miller, 25, of McMinnville, and Derek J. Peterson, 24, of Keizer, were traveling southbound on the trail, at Milepost 29 on Forest Service Road 46, when Peterson apparently made a sharp right turn, directly in front of Miller, and the two snowmobiles collided, Hemphill said.

Miller sustained serious internal injuries and was treated by responding units, until he was taken by Air Life chopper to the Bend hospital, where he was listed in serious condition Sunday night, according to a nursing supervisor.

Both snowmobilers were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, and alcohol was not a factor, Hemphill said, adding that the crash was under investigation.

Meanwhile, a southwest Washington woman whose snowmobile went over an embankment Saturday afternoon, throwing her over the handlebars, had improved to fair condition at the hospital Sunday night.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue members and Forest Service law enforcement responded around 3:30 p.m. to a report of a snowmobile crash off Trail 7 in the Moon Mountain area, Hemphill said.

Angela Lynn Halberg, 18, of Battle Ground, Wash., was riding her snowmobile when she went over an embankment with a three-foot drop and was thrown over the handlebars, he said.

Halberg was treated at the scene for apparent pelvic injuries and flown to the Bend hospital, where she underwent surgery Saturday night for a hip fracture.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( estimates that about 110 people die each year while riding snowmobiles, while about 13,400 hospital emergency room-treated injuries occur.

Among the agency's tips: Drive only on established and marked trails, or in specified use areas, and “don’t hurdle snow banks. You have control only when your skis are on the ground.”

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association ( has undertaken the “Safe Riders! You make snowmobiling safe” safety campaign since 1995, which “brings to the forefront the need to analyze risks and not take improper risks while snowmobiling,” according to the group’s Website.

Among its tips: “Cross with care – don’t become road kill,” and “Ride smart, ride right, stay in control.”




Speed and inexperience are problems for snowmobilers. Read the USFS Trail Tip reproduced below

Snow/trail conditions have improved at most elevations   01.27.04

"Snow/trail conditions have improved at most elevations with 2-16" of new snow over the past few days. Forecast for next few days calls for more precipitation.

Just a safety reminder for all users to be aware of other users on/off the trails and for snowmobile operators that may tend to ride on the fast side, to slow down. During the Martin Luther King Weekend on the Bend/Ft. Rock Ranger District there were 5 injury (broken bones) snowmobile accidents which were mostly attributable to either inexperience and/or speed.

Another serious injury snowmobile accident occurred near Odell Lake last Saturday that may have also involved riding too fast for the conditions.

Remember, share the trails safely. Have a safe week!"
--Chris Sabo, Trails/Wilderness





Read more . . .
SNOWMOBILES - a history of this discussion:
Snowmobile parking at Kapka Butte and Dutchman Flat revisited in 2009
Proposed Tumalo Recreation Zone in the Deschutes National Forest in 2009
Snowmobiler falls 1,500' into Mt. St. Helens and survives
Map of snowmobile restrictions at Dutchman Flat  
Snowmobile restrictions published for Dutchman Flat  
Snowmobile Safety Summit on Dutchman Flat area  
Report snowmobile renegades - an Editorial
Snowmobiles should not mix with skiers and snowshoers
Snowmobile accident draws $11 million dollar damage award
Snowmobilers keep the Atta Boy Race on track
Snowmobilers must give a little on parking at Dutchman Flat  
Recent snowmobile accidents near Bend
Set snowmobile limits at Dutchman Flat  
Unregulated OHV use is being reviewed across the western states
Snowmobile access to summit of Mt. St. Helens questioned by The Mountaineers
Snowmobile speed limits on Dutchman Flat in Oregon  
Snowmobiles offer thrills
Snowmobiles in Yellowstone
Snowmobiles as a tool for traditional mountaineering