Northwestern Ontario snowmobile collisions send three to hospital

Three people were taken to hospital with serious injuries due to snowmobile collisions on northwestern Ontario's trails on Saturday, Superior North EMS said.

Crashes happened Saturday in remote areas

Three people were taken to hospital on Saturday due to two snowmobile collisions on Northwestern Ontario trails. (Nick Murray/CBC)

Northwestern Ontario's chief paramedic is thanking some "good Samaritans" who helped first responders access the scene of a snowmobile collision in a remote, difficult-to-access area on Saturday.

Paramedics were dispatched to the site of the crash after receiving a 911 call at about 11:20 a.m. Saturday.

The site is described as being about 17 kilometres "in the bush," south of Shabaqua Corners. Two people sustained serious injuries after their snowmobile collided with a tree, according to media statements released on Tuesday.

Officials said a paramedic received assistance from other snowmobile riders in the area. They helped transport the paramedic to the crash scene where they could treat the injured riders.

Struck from behind

The injured people were then transported back out, along the trail, where they were taken to hospital for treatment.

But it wasn't the only snowmobile-related call paramedics would receive on Saturday, however.

The second call occurred later in the day, after a man riding a snow machine about 14 kilometres west of Schreiber, at Deep Lake, was struck from behind by a second snow machine.

Superior North EMS paramedics were again dispatched, and this time they accessed the area with the help of the Schreiber Fire Department. 

Paramedics said the male was also taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Superior North EMS chief Wayne Gates told CBC News that calls about snowmobile-related injuries are challenging for paramedics, because they often happen in very remote locations.

'Good Samaritans' help out

"Clearly, we can't drive our ambulance down there," he said. "OPP will often have a snowmobile unit that ... can take our paramedics in, or we'll usually rely on the fire department that's in that area, as well."

Sometimes, Gates said, paramedics will rely on "good Samaritans," citizens who happen to be out riding in the area as well.

"That's what happened here," he said of Saturday's first call. "The snowmobilers were doing a poker run and they came across this accident, and they helped our paramedics."

"So good on them," he said.

Helmets saved lives

Gates also noted all three of the injured riders were wearing helmets.

"I have no doubt they are alive today because they were wearing helmets," he said in the media release. "Helmets do save lives, and here are two prime examples of where they did."

Gates also said riders should make sure they're visible when out on the trails, and should always tell someone where they're going.

"In case you do run into trouble and do need to call 911, it really helps us out — us and the police and the fire departments — if we need to get to you if you can give us a good location," he said.