Corporal Troy Savinkoff has provided more details on the snowmobile fatality that occurred on the Blindman River near Township Road 441 and Range Road 15 on March 25.
A female snowmobile operator was struck by a long-intertwined cable that extended across the Blindman River. She was then airlifted to the University of Alberta hospital by STARS Air Ambulance where she succumbed to her injuries.
Corporal Troy Savinkoff says police have no reason to believe the wire was intentionally placed with ill intent.
“We do know that that cable has been at that location for some time. It's just very clear that it has been. When I say ‘some time’, I'm talking years. Our investigators don't believe that it was intentionally laid there as some form of trap or nefarious means to hurt somebody. We still believe that there's either an agricultural or some commercial purpose for that cable. It's about quarter inch braided metal cable that was across that area,” explained Savinkoff.
Savinkoff added that cables laid across rivers may be used by farmers to restrict cattle from wandering off.
"Water is a natural barrier in the summertime, but once it's wintertime and cattle, for instance, can walk across a waterway then it's not a natural barrier and you have to do something to keep them in,” he added.
However, investigators have not determined what the purpose for the cable would be.
Savinkoff says the investigators will be working to determine if there was some sort of negligence involved with the cable being left out.
Although rivers are fair game for snow mobiles, Savinkoff says there is a risk with snowmobiling in an area that does not have groomed trail.
“One of the dangers are you don't know exactly what's underneath that snow or what obstructions might be at the head,” he added.
He recommends taking extra caution and reducing speeds in unfamiliar areas.