Snowmobiling in Vermont has been a precarious pastime this season and on Saturday the latest in a spate of fatal accidents claimed the life of a man, his 24-year-old daughter and 3-year-old granddaughter.
The tragedy occurred when three snowmobiles attempting to cross Lake Dunmore broke through the ice, sparking a period of chaos and and ultimately claiming the lives of Kevin Flynn, 50, Carrie Flynn, 24, both of Whiting, Vt., and 3-year-old Bryanna Popp, of Brandon, Vt.According to the Associated Press, five people plunged into the near-freezing water while a 4-year-old was shoved to safety before the snowmobile he was aboard broke through the ice.
Kevin Flynn's wife, Terry Flynn, and Bryanna's brother, 6-year-old Jeremiah Popp, survived, as did the 4-year-old.There are no silver linings to this story but the 4-year-old ran for help and that might have helped prevent further loss of life. Foster Provencher of the Salisbury Fire Department helped pull Jeremiah Popp from the water. He and two other rescuers used a ladder, a rake and a rope during the rescue.
"We did what we could do," Provencher told the AP.
The incident underscores the importance of making sure the ice is thick enough to support the weight of snowmobiles and their passengers. The snowmobiles in Saturday's accident broke through the ice in three places.
Since Dec. 24 at least three other people, all women, died in snowmobile accidents in Vermont. Two hit trees and one was struck by another snowmobile.
-- Pete Thomas