Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Snowmobile death results in Hydro suit

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A deadly Manitoba snowmobile collision two years ago is the subject of a civil lawsuit.

Mathilda Wollman, 48, was decapitated by a 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 Highway 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 (Snowmobilers of Manitoba) and the Sno-Riders (club in southeastern Manitoba). 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 but Wollman did not.

The family claims there were no reflective markings or hard yellow plastic cover on the wire to warn drivers.

 

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 27, 2013 A4

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