UPDATE: Helena man killed in snowmobile incident
Lewis and Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson says 27-year-old Kelly James Hatcher of Helena died from internal head and chest injuries in a snowmobiling accident near Canyon Ferry, Tuesday.
UPDATE: 01/25/12 4:45pm
Law enforcement officials say the accident happened around 12pm. They say Hatcher's friend reached a nearby restaurant to call 911 around 1:40pm and rescue crews were on the ground searching for him by 2:30. Mercy Flight found Hatcher dead just after 5pm last night. Lewis and Clark County Sheriff, Leo Dutton, says Hatcher was doing some extreme snowmobiling when the accident occurred.
“He is very adept on his snowmobile and he went over a snow cornice and unfortunately he was thrown over the front of the snowmobile and the snowmobile landed on him, is what it looked like. There's no signs of foul play,” says Sheriff, Dutton.
Crews were originally looking for the man in Sunshine Basin but moved their efforts to the Snedaker Basin area where Hatcher was eventually located.
Mercy Flight located a 27-year-old man just after 5:00 this evening who was injured while snowmobiling with a friend near Canyon Ferry Lake. Beartooth NBC was at the headquarters for the rescue effort.
County officials say rescue crews found a 27-year-old Helena man dead after being injured while snowmobiling with a friend near Canyon Ferry Lake Tuesday. Officials aren't releasing the victim’s name at this time.
“If we start right here at the, just off of Canyon Ferry Lake, which is on the east side kind of at the north end. Follow Magpie Gulch Road up, they came across at the top,” Says Lewis & Clark Sheriff's Office, Sergeant Will Kussman.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Deputies, Search and Rescue, and Tri-Lakes Fire Department mapped out the suspected location of a 27-year-old man who was reported injured while snowmobiling with a friend Tuesday afternoon.
“They found a big open field where they, what he referred to as started playing in the big open field area. From what is described to us, his friend went off a 20-25 foot snow embankment and did not reappear at the base of the, or in the little valley or whatever it was,” says Kussman.
Deputies say the man who made the call checked on the rider who was conscious but appeared injured.
“His friend went to look, found the snowmobile rolled over on top of him, made his way down to him. His friend was conscious and talking to him at that time and sounds like a short time later his friend either went unresponsive or unconscious, we can't confirm yet,” says Kussman.
The uninjured snowmobiler made several unsuccessful attempts at calling 911 and eventually made his way to a restaurant where he was able to make contact.
Crews were originally looking for the man in Sunshine Basin but moved their efforts to the Snedaker Basin area.
An investigation is being conducted by the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office and Coroner Mickey Nelson.
Story by Kristin Price, Beartooth NBC.
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