WASATCH COUNTY, Utah -- A popular winter activity in Utah turned into a family tragedy Monday.
Utah State Parks said 12-year-old Jaxon Lewis, from Salt Lake County, was killed in a snowmobile accident near Mill Hollow Reservoir just after noon.
“As the family was going up and down the ridge line, the 12-year-old young man had already gone up. He was riding along the top of the ridge when the rest of the family was coming up. Unfortunately, they did not see him as he was going along the ridge line and he was struck by a snowmobile,”Utah State Parks Lt. Eric Stucki said.
State Park law enforcement officers patrol all off-highway vehicles in Utah, like snowmobiles, being used on federal land.
Lewis was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but he still received significant head trauma.
After Lewis was hit, Stucki said the family and other snowmobilers nearby started CPR.
Lewis was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital where he later died.
“He was wearing a helmet, he did have all of his snowmobile clothing on, but the force of a snowmobile just can’t withstand, protection equipment just can’t withstand that type of force,” Lt. Stucki said.
The area is part of the Mill Hollow Snowmobile Complex southeast of Kamas.
A state parks brochure calls it, “…one of the largest and most popular snowmobile areas in the state…”
The size and remoteness proved a challenge for State Parks officers who had to find the boy’s mother after the accident.
“Some members of the family were also at other cabins, of course, that area is a no cell phone area, meaning no service in that area, so we did have to do some searching to find other family members to do notification,” Lt. Stucki said.
No charges are expected, Stucki said, calling it a case of "being in the wrong place at the wrong time."