Officials urge caution after girl killed in snowmobile crash - Metro US

Officials urge caution after girl killed in snowmobile crash

Two snowmobile accidents occurred within minutes of one another Sunday in rural Strathcona County, one ending in serious injury, another ending in death.

Five-year-old Taeya Maron died after she was thrown from a snowmobile and struck a tree.

“The family is devastated, needless to say,” Strathcona County RCMP Const. Wally Henry said. “I wish I could think of a stronger word than that. It’s just terrible.”

She and her 36-year-old father were sledding in a wooded section of Brookville Estates around 5:15 p.m., when he lost control of the machine. Though it’s unknown what killed the child, neither she nor her father were wearing helmets.

About 20 minutes earlier and 20 kilometres northwest, a 51-year-old man was thrown from a snowmobile. He escaped the crash with non-life-threatening injuries.

Currently, there are no Alberta laws that make helmet use mandatory. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan all have helmet legislation.

“Safety is a choice,” said Alberta Safety Council instructor George Billings. “When you make an error in that choice, it can end in death.”

Helmet or not, Billings says five-year-old children are not safe on snowmobiles, which are designed for adults.

Contributing factors and the child’s sitting position are unknown, though investigators plan to interview her father when he recovers, Henry said.

“Sometimes, we have to make decisions for our kids to keep them safe, even though they may not like it,” Billings said. “I’d rather have a child mad at me than having to bury one of my children.”

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