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Death of teen snowmobiler at Hunters Range ruled accidental

Hunters Range is located about seven kilometres from Enderby.
Image Credit: Hunters Range Snowmobile Association via Facebook
May 22, 2015 - 2:03 PM

VERNON - Brandon Oullette set off on his snowmobile in Hunters Range last December with the intention of meeting his father further up the trail, but the 16-year-old never made it.

A coroners report into his death says Oullette took the more difficult route up a steep, snowy mountainside after heading out with his dad on Hunters Range, about seven kilometres from Enderby, around 8:30 a.m. Dec. 28, 2014.

“He had been attempting to ascend a very steep slope when his snowmobile struck a snow wall,” coroner Walter Burns says in his report.

The Salmon Arm teen fell off the snowmobile and tumbled backwards approximately three metres, coming to rest on his back in a tree well. His snowmobile landed on his chest.

Meanwhile, his father realized he was missing, being at least 15 minutes late and providing no radio contact. He began searching for him, and found him pinned under the snowmobile, unconscious.

Oullette’s father managed to get him out from underneath the snowmobile and began CPR. There was no response. He then had to travel at least 15 minutes away in order to find cell coverage and call 9-1-1.

Search and rescue members transported Oullette to an area where an ambulance picked him up and moved him to Vernon Jubilee Hospital. He could not be revived.

An investigation into the circumstances around his death revealed Oullette was an experienced snowmobiler in good health. He was dressed appropriately and the machine had no mechanical issues, Burns says.

A post mortem examination found Oullette died of asphyxiation due to being crushed under the snowmobile. His death was classified as accidental, and Burns made no recommendations.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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