Snowmobile: three deaths this weekend

International Snowmobile Safety Week ended on a grim note on Sunday as three fatal crashes occurred over the weekend in the province.

• Read also: Fatal road exit in Gaspésie

A 23-year-old snowmobiler was killed at around 11:15 a.m. Sunday on private land in Rougemont, Montérégie. Michaël Duhamel, of Sainte-Julie, was driving through a field when he went off the trail to finish his race against a pole.

The day before, a 62-year-old snowmobiler died after hitting trees in a trail in Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, Mauricie. This is Réal Francoeur, resident of Blainville, on the North Shore of Montreal.

The SQ is evaluating the possibility that the man suffered a malaise, causing him to have lost control of his machine on Trail 350.

Then on Saturday night, an unexplained sheer took the life of a 65-year-old man in New Richmond, in the Gaspé. This is Sylvain Arsenault. His passenger escaped almost unharmed.

Since the start of the winter season, six snowmobilers have lost their lives according to the Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec (FCMQ).

More people on the trails

Snowmobiling is no exception to the outdoor activities that are attracting new enthusiasts in these times of pandemic. “We can feel the enthusiasm, which should translate into an increase in new members and more people on the trails,” said Isabelle Gauthier, spokesperson for the FCMQ.

Knowing that many novice snowmobilers will be on the trails this winter, the FCMQ published a guide in December to inform them about the safe practices to adopt during the activity.

Prevention activities, including the presence of surveillance officers on Quebec trails, were put in place for International Snowmobile Safety Week, which ended on Sunday.

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