Personnel continue search for snowmobiler, presumed dead after crash in river

December 30, 2013

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AMBER TWP. — Emergency personnel continue their search this morning for the driver of a snowmobile that fell into the Pere Marquette River Sunday night. William Green, 35, of Ludington is presumed dead following the crash that took place around 7:15 p.m. His snowmobile was recovered Sunday night but rescuers were unable to find the body. Dangerous currents, fallen trees and darkness caused Sheriff Kim Cole to suspend the search until morning.

Emergency personnel were called to the corner of Gordon and Conrad roads at 7:17 p.m. for the report of a snowmobile that had fallen over an embankment about a quarter mile south of that intersection on private property owned by Conrad Farms. Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said two snowmobilers were traveling when the lead snowmobiler went off the 100-foot embankment. “His sled went landed on the ice and the driver went into the river,” Sheriff Cole said. “The driver was unfamiliar with the area, but was traveling at a slow speed.”

MCSO, Life EMS ambulance, Scottville Fire Dept. and Custer Fire Dept. were the first units called to the scene. “Getting back to the area of the crash was a challenge,” Cole said. Though Custer Fire Dept. has an all-terrain vehicle, it is not equipped with tracks, allowing it to go through the snow. For that reason, Scottville Fire Chief Dale Larr requested an ATV from Branch Fire Dept., which is equipped with tracks. Later, personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard were also called in for possible water rescue. Scottville Fire Dept. personnel were also prepared for water rescue. Quinn’s Tire and Tows also assisted.

This was the county’s first snowmobile fatality of the year and the ninth traffic fatality. MCSO and Ludington Police Dept. along with the county’s Victim Services Unit were expected to notify the family of the man’s death.

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