Multiple sources are reporting that a person was recently killed in Grand County, Colorado while operating a snowmobile. The fatal accident occurred near Idleglen, which is near Grand Lake, on Sunday, January 17.
Two people were on the snowmobile at the time the vehicle reportedly struck a tree, including a female driver and a male passenger. The driver did not survive and the passenger sustained leg injuries that required hospitalization. Helmets were being used at the time of the crash.
Specific details regarding what led to the crash have not been released, nor have the identities of those involved.
The part of the state where the accident occurred continues to have a low and inconsistent snowpack amid a relatively dry snow season. This makes snowmobiling in the area riskier. Idleglen is located in the Colorado Headwaters River Basin, which is currently at 70 percent of its to-date snow water equivalent median and 34 percent of its annual peak.
While often portrayed as a fun winter activity for anyone, snowmobiling can be quite dangerous and it's important to be aware of and reduce risk where possible. Those partaking in this sport should always wear a helmet and make sure they're on trails that are within their skill level. It's also important for snowmobilers to be prepared for possible stranding in remote areas. Cell phone connection won't always be present, making communication devices that utilize GPS a great piece of safety equipment to bring along.
While on a snowmobile, drivers should make sure to keep their speed under control while also being aware of potentially hazardous terrain features, such as cliffs and partially buried obstacles. Those unfamiliar with snowmobiling should strongly consider traveling with a guided tour during their first experience on a sled.