Woman, child from Florida killed in snowmobiling incident near Golden, B.C.
A woman and child were killed Wednesday in a snowmobiling incident near Golden, B.C., according to RCMP.
Officers were called to a backcountry area called the North Bench, northwest of Golden, just after noon.
A 30-year-old woman and 11-year-old girl both died. RCMP said they are both from Miami, Florida.
According to the Rocky Mountain Riders, a snowmobile tour and rental company, the pair was part of its guided tour. The company said they had given everyone their safety briefing and the group members were all wearing helmets.
A spokesperson said the woman and her stepdaughter, who were riding the same snowmobile, veered off the trail and crashed.
The company said its crew members, who are trained in First Aid, performed CPR on the victims until search and rescue arrived.
RCMP responded by both helicopter and snowmobile to the scene. Investigators were still on scene as of 5:45 p.m. MT trying to determine the cause.
No other injuries were reported.
Const. Spencer Lainchbury, a spokesperson with Golden-Field RCMP, said the father of the 11-year-old girl and two other children were part of the snowmobiling group when the crash happened.
Lainchbury said RCMP don’t believe the incident is suspicious.
On Thursday, he said the incident was still under investigation and RCMP cannot speculate on what caused the deaths, including whether speed or trees played a role.
“The official cause of death can only be determined by the B.C. Coroner’s Service after all the investigations are complete,” Lainchbury said in a statement Thursday.
He couldn’t say whether the families of the woman and child had been notified, but said the U.S. Consulate had been informed.
“It’s an incredible sport. It can be done incredibly safely [and] it should be because you should never snowmobile outside of your capability or the terrain,” Scott Kjarsgaard with the Calgary Snowmobile Club said.
He explained the machine should be selected based on the rider’s experience and the particular terrain.
“Most trail machines are much heavier… and they’re built for comfort and ride.”
Kjarsgaard said riders should be aware of the tour company’s safety protocols before heading out on a trail.
“You should be fully briefed and aware of the safety protocols of the tour you’re on… and they follow to mitigate most everything that could come up, but nature is not perfect as we know.”
— With files from Sarah Offin
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