Whitehorse man dies beneath ATV

A Whitehorse man was found dead on Wednesday evening, pinned beneath his ATV. The 43-year-old was driving alone at Frenchman Lake near Carmacks when…

A Whitehorse man was found dead on Wednesday evening, pinned beneath his ATV.

The 43-year-old was driving alone at Frenchman Lake near Carmacks when he apparently lost control and rolled down a 15-metre embankment into the lake.

Police found him three and a half hours later trapped under water by the machine.

An emergency locator beacon, which the driver was able to activate, alerted police to a problem.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center in Victoria, BC, received the distress call at 4:01 p.m.

Whitehorse RCMP received the notification 11 minutes later and the information was then passed on to the Carmacks detachment.

The victim was found at 7:28 p.m.

“It was initially reported that they were at Tatchun Lake, because that’s where the group was camping,” said Cpl. Wayne Gork with the Carmacks RCMP.

“But the GPS was pretty accurate.”

Officers rode two ATVs and were aided by the local Wildland Fire Management personnel, said Gork.

“Most of their employees have lived here all their lives and are very familiar with the trail systems.”

The man was found at the bottom of a steep embankment that borders the lake. A trail runs along the top.

Police can’t be sure exactly what happened, but the death is not being treated as suspicious, said Gork

“Possibly he just got too close to the edge and it started to roll on him, I don’t know.”

 “I have to tell yeah, he was totally outfitted the way you should be — he had a helmet, proper boots, pants, a good jacket…,” Gork added.

“But it might be a good idea to consider taking a buddy with you, which is kinda nice if you get into trouble in the isolated area.”

Gork, an ATV safety instructor, urged anyone that owns an ATV to take the Canada safety council riders course.

“You learn a lot, you really, really do. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

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