Bend snowmobiler flown to hospital after fiery crash into tracked vehicle threw him nearly 100 feet
Elk Lake Lodge tracked vehicle was stationary at the time; fire destroyed snowmobile
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Bend man was injured and flown to St. Charles Bend Sunday evening after crashing his snowmobile into a stationary tracked vehicle on the Cascade Lakes Highway, throwing him nearly 100 feet and sparking a fire that destroyed the snowmobile, authorities said.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched around 7:30 p.m. to the reported crash on Cascade Lakes Highway at milepost 30, Sergeant Jason Wall said.
Initial reports said the snowmobile struck the stopped Elk Lake Lodge tracked vehicle at a high rate of speed, throwing him almost 100 feet. The driver of the tracked vehicle, a lodge employee, was in it at the time and was not injured, Wall said.
As a result of the crash, the snowmobile caught fire and was completely consumed, the sergeant said. Elk Lake Lodge employees learned of the crash and responded to assist with more cold weather gear for the 29-year-old snowmobile rider and the 43-year-old Bend man who was driving the tracked vehicle.
SAR crews were mobilized and responded to assist air medics and investigate the crash, Wall said. A Life Flight helicopter was able to land safely and flew the rider to the Bend hospital, where Wall said he was in stable condition Monday.
“Speed appears to be a factor in this crash,” Wall said in a news release. He added that the investigation is still ongoing, and more details will be released when available.
"The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone when recreating in the winter months, specifically in the back country, carry sufficient gear for your chosen activity, carry a communication device and tell someone where you are going, expected route, and expected time of return," Wall added.