A fatal snowmobile accident on Cottonwood Pass left one person dead Tuesday.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office received a distress signal at 11:09 a.m., Feb. 8, from a backcountry traveler advising of a snowmobile accident and an unconscious male in the Cottonwood Pass area, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said in a press release.
Chaffee County Search and Rescue and Chaffee EMS initially responded to a location near the summit of Cottonwood Pass and contacted parties who were snowmobiling in the area. A male was unconscious after being pinned beneath his snowmobile. Several people in the area at the time of the accident attempted CPR, however the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, Spezze said.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office responded and the investigation determined Robert E. Welland, 68 of Jefferson, was riding his snowmobile with a group of people and went out of sight from the group. When a group member went back to find Welland, he found his machine overturned and resting on top of the victim. The other rider pulled the machine off of the victim and CPR was started until EMS arrived.
The victim was transported out of the area and the Chaffee County Coroner transported the victim to the coroner’s office in Salida.