On February 5, 2014, at 9:35 p.m., the West Yellowstone Police Department received a report of a snowmobiler who hit a tree and was seriously injured. The injured snowmobiler was near the Madison Arm Resort, which is north of West Yellowstone.
Personnel from the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office, the West Yellowstone Division of Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and Yellowstone National Park responded and assisted with the rescue. The temperature was -35 degrees.
Rescuers responded on snowmobiles and a tracked ATV. When they arrived on scene they found a 45-year-old male from Simpsonville, South Carolina, who had lost control of his snowmobile and hit a tree. One of the witnesses said that the snowmobiler’s helmet “disintegrated” from the impact. He was quickly packaged onto the rescue sled and transported to an awaiting Hebgen Basin Fire Department ambulance. Life-flight was unable to respond because of severe weather conditions. He was transported to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
An investigation conducted by the Sheriffs Office and the U.S. Forest Service revealed that speed and alcohol were involved.