Salt Lake County boy killed in snowmobile accident near Mill Hollow Reservoir
Utah State Parks says charges won’t likely be filed
February 21, 2017
A 12-year-old Salt Lake County boy died on Monday from injuries he sustained in a snowmobile accident near Mill Hollow Reservoir.
At 4:23 p.m. on Monday, the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office reported medical personnel were unable to revive the victim at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. According to the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, the identity of the boy is not being released pending notification of family.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Wasatch County dispatch center received a report about a snowmobile crash near Mill Hollow Reservoir, according to the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office. Mill Hollow Reservoir is located in Wasatch County about 24 miles from Heber City, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Eric Stucki, a lieutenant with Utah State Park's northern region, said the boy was with several family members on their personal snowmobiles when he rode above a hill on the ridgeline. Stucki said the family couldn't see him and when they crested over the hill he was struck by one of the others in their group. He was reportedly wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
"He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Stucki said.
Wasatch and Summit County Search and Rescue teams responded to help escort medical personnel into the remote area, the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office stated. The Sheriff's Office reported that the victim was transported to Primary Children's Hospital by a LifeFlight helicopter.
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Stucki said the area where the accident occurred is popular among snowmobile enthusiasts because it can be accessed from State Road 35, Lake Creek near Heber and State Road 150 (Mirror Lake Highway), among other locations. He said it is a popular area and "not dangerous by any means."
"This was just an unfortunate incident and it is just horrible to think what the family is going through," Stucki said.
Utah State Parks is currently investigating the accident, however, Stucki said charges will not likely be filed. He said no alcohol or drugs were involved and state law only requires minimal basic education to operate the vehicles. Under Utah State law, anyone younger than 18 riding an off-highway vehicle must wear a helmet. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 must also possess an OHV education certificate before operating on public land.
This year, Stucki said there already have been several serious snowmobile accidents.
"Throughout the state we definitely have snowmobile accidents all the time from people that own them to people that rent," Stucki said. "The biggest thing to remind folks is to communicate to all riders the positive and the dangers that do come with the sport. As far as riding, make sure to communicate where you are going be. All of those things are helpful when you are out and about."
For more information about riding OHV in state parks, go to http://stateparks.utah.gov/activities/off-highway-vehicles/ohv-laws-rules/.