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Teen hospitalized after Wasatch County snowmobile crash

Wasatch County Search and Rescue responded to the scene of a snowmobile crash Jan. 1.
Courtesy Kam Kohler
Wasatch County Search and Rescue responded to the scene of a snowmobile crash Jan. 1.

A family’s Wasatch County snowmobile excursion ended in an accident New Year’s Day.

A 16-year-old girl crashed a snowmobile in Wasatch County’s remote backcountry Monday afternoon.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Jan. 1, Wasatch County Search and Rescue responded to a call for help near Lake Creek, east of Heber City.

The family was visiting from out of town when the teen collided with a tree, according to Search and Rescue commander Kam Kohler.

“She hit the tree pretty good,” he said. “The injuries required evacuation by helicopter, and we evacuated her with the help of Airmed.”

Wasatch Fire and University of Utah Airmed assisted Search and Rescue with their response.

“We don’t have details on exactly the cause,” Kohler said. “When search and rescue gets the call, we deal with the results – and the results were a 16-year-old female on a sled had a nice run-in with a tree.”

Kohler said trauma can be severe and internal injuries are a concern when people crash into large, stationary objects, but the teen’s condition has improved significantly since Monday.

He urged people to be cautious when venturing out into the backcountry. He said his search and rescue team of 35 is busy all winter responding to calls.

“Just because you know how to drive a car doesn’t mean you know how to drive a snowmobile,” he said.

He said that shouldn’t stop people from having fun – as long as they learn avalanche safety, pay attention to guides’ instructions and get familiar with the terrain they plan to explore.