(Gallatin County, Mont.) On Saturday April 2, 2016 at 10:35 a.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a 911 call from a snowmobiler reporting that a fellow snowmobiler had struck a tree and had suffered a possible femur fracture. Dispatchers was able to retrieve the coordinates from the 911 call discovering that the snowmobilers were at the base of Lionshead Mountain on the continental divide approximately 11 miles west of West Yellowstone.
Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the West Yellowstone Division of Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, National Forest Service, and National Park Rangers responded.
Two teams of rescuers were sent from the top of Targhee Pass and were able to locate the snowmobilers and direct a helicopter from Lifelight Network to a suitable landing spot.
The injured party, a 43 year old male from Bozeman, Montana was suffering from a broken leg. The injured snowmobiler was placed on a backboard by ground personnel and carried to the helicopter landing site several hundred feet away from the accident scene. The patient was then transported by helicopter to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind snowmobilers to know their limitations and the limitations of their snowmobiles, and stay on marked trails.
The off trail areas are unmaintained and can be full of unseen hazards. Be alert for hazards such as tree wells or hidden stumps as which can be unpredictable and unforgiving. Always let another member of your group know if you venture off trail keeping in mind that the most dangerous situations can occur if you get injured when you are alone. Photos courtesy of the Sheriff’s office