A deadly Manitoba snowmobile accident is now the subject of a civil lawsuit.
Mathilda Wollman, 48, was decapitated by a Manitoba Hydro guy wire while riding as a passenger on a snowmobile driven by Philip Waldner. The incident happened in February 2011 on a groomed trail in a ditch beside Hwy. 12 near Steinbach.
Wollman’s husband and three children filed a statement of claim this week seeking unspecified financial damages from Waldner, Manitoba Hydro, Snoman and Sno-Riders. They claim all four parties are guilty of negligence for failing to prevent the tragedy.
No statements of defence have been filed and the allegations have not been proven.
According to the lawsuit, Waldner was trying to avoid traffic when he steered his snowmobile between a Hydro pole and the guy wire. The family claims the area was frequently travelled by members of Snoman and Sno-Riders, thus "creating the appearance of a trail at this hazardous location."
The 2010 Arctic Cat snowmobile had a feature that allowed the passenger to be propped up higher than the driver. As a result, Waldner easily passed under the wire while Wollman did not because she was unaware of the danger.
The family claims there were no reflective markings or hard yellow plastic cover on the wire to warn drivers in the area.