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Man dies after snowmobile plunges through ice


The man's snowmobile plunged through ice.
The man's snowmobile plunged through ice.

Jill Colton, staff writer

January 7, 2011 — A snowmobiler has died after his machine plummets through ice in Peterborough.

Mike Farr from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs says you need to check the ice first.
Mike Farr from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs says you need to check the ice first.

On Thursday evening, a man was killed after his snowmobile crashed through the ice on Buckhorn Lake north of Peterborough.

Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield firefighters, Peterborough County OPP officers and paramedics rushed to the scene around 10:30 p.m.

Rescuers recovered the body of 42-year-old William Jay Hill around 1:30 a.m.

Another man, whose snowmobile also went through the ice, was able to walk to nearby Curve Lake First Nation to call for help.

The dangerous conditions also caused a rescue boat to get stuck in the ice during the search.

It's easy to lose control when you're riding.
It's easy to lose control when you're riding.

Snowmobile accidents are preventable if the proper safety precautions are observed.

Mike Farr from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs believes you should avoid riding on ice if you're not sure it's safe.

“You can only check ice by actually checking the thickness of it. You can't tell looking at it from the shore if it's safe or not safe. If you don't know, or a snowmobiler doesn't know if the ice is safe they should not be going out on it, period.”

Last month, a man lost control of his snowmobile on Lake Lorraine Road near Huntsville. He was thrown into a tree after his Skidoo crossed the eastbound lane ending up in the south ditch. The man suffered serious injuries but is expected to recover.

It's not only Ontario that has seen a number of snowmobile accidents this winter. In British Columbia, a man was trapped after he plunged down a 35 metre mine shaft in late December. Incredibly he survived with only a few broken bones. A day later, a rider was killed when he was swept away in an avalanche near Hope.

For more information on snowmobile safety tips, make sure you visit the snowmobile report.

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