The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died as a result of a snowmobile incident that occurred near Valemount on Jan. 9th.
The man was Richard Allan McDonald, aged 61, from Kamloops.
McDonald had been operating a snowmobile along the clearing between the roadway and tree line of Highway 5, near Valemount, when the incident occurred.
Just after midnight Jan. 9th, he was found pinned under his snowmobile in the ditch along Hwy 5. Emergency personnel attended the scene of the incident where they tried to resuscitate him. They transported McDonald to the Valemount Health Unit where he was confirmed deceased.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP Traffic Services continue to investigate. The cause of his death is still under investigation.
Valemount RCMP Const. Trevor Prosser says snowmobilers travelling along highway corridors is a “Grey area in terms of enforcement.”
He says there is legislation before the BC government that is supposed to clarify legally what rights motorists have along highway corridors. He says the legislation may involve establishing designated spots for crossing the
highway, which he says would make it a lot safer.
He says to cross a highway, you need to come to a complete stop and carry a valid driver’s license.
“You can’t just pop out of the ditch and cross the highway,” he says.
Anyone operating a snowmobile who is intoxicated will receive the same penalties as if operating a motor vehicle such as a car or truck.
It is not yet known whether alcohol or drugs was a factor in this death.