The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that despite this winter’s generally crummy snow conditions, snowmobiling deaths have already matched last year’s total.
Deputy Michael K. Leviker, parks and recreation officer at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, said the number of fatalities is a bit surprising, considering the relatively low volume of snowmobile traffic and overall number of accidents this season.
Two sledders have died so far in Lewis County and a third in Jefferson County. According to the Plattsburgh Press Republican, at least one other sledder has died this season in Franklin County.
The Glens Falls Post Star also reported this week that three men lost their sleds into the water of Lake George after driving onto slushy ice last weekend.
Lee Pike, Douglas Smith and Michael Smith were transported to shore by North Queensbury and Horicon Fire Department air boats. The men were treated and released at the scene by Lake George and North Queensbury EMS.
So what do you think? Is this a sport with a safety problem? Are riders receiving adequate training, and enough information about the risks associated with sledding?
Or is this an acceptable by-product of a really fun activity that’s also a mainstay of the North Country economy?