Man dies after snowmobile hits tractor

Full story: WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan

A Dorr Township man died Saturday night after the snowmobile he was riding hit a tractor.
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1 - 20 of 155 Comments Last updated Feb 5, 2009
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Chris

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#1
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Snowmobiliers need pay more attention to where they are going,this accident could have been avoided if they were paying attention to where they were going ,look for vehicles or anything that is on the road, watch for snow plows. This accident could have been avoided!
Bubba

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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Chris wrote:
Snowmobiliers need pay more attention to where they are going,this accident could have been avoided if they were paying attention to where they were going ,look for vehicles or anything that is on the road, watch for snow plows. This accident could have been avoided!
I agree with you that snowmobilers need to be careful. However, there are circumstances where no amount of safety will prevent an accident. A plow driver, be it a tractor or a pickup truck, needs to yield the right of way on a street. This not only applies to cars, but snowmobilers as well. It sounds as if this accident could have been avoided if the man driving the tractor hadn't backed into the street in the path of the snowmobilers.
JPR

Grandville, MI

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#3
Jan 11, 2009
 

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It seems as if when people drive snowmobiles, they become quite careless. They drive all over the place without concern trespassing laws or their own safety. The rest of you snowmobilers ought to learn something from this accident.
OShow

Grand Rapids, MI

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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Chris wrote:
Snowmobiliers need pay more attention to where they are going,this accident could have been avoided if they were paying attention to where they were going ,look for vehicles or anything that is on the road, watch for snow plows. This accident could have been avoided!
Maybe the person on the Tractor needed to be paying more attention to what he was doing! With your logic that means all Motorcyclists should be watching where they are going when vehicles turn left into them!
Snow Day

Byron Center, MI

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#5
Jan 11, 2009
 

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I don't understand how the tractor could be at fault.

“Totally Amazed!”

Since: Feb 08

Grand Rapids

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#6
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Did the tractor have any lights?

Before I back my car out onto the street, I look to make sure it's clear. No walkers, bikers, cars, etc.
curious

Grand Rapids, MI

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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Snowmobiles are very dangerous (just like ATV's) and really shouldn't be used anywhere near civilization. Every winter, we read of several snowmobile accidents where people are killed, paralyzed, maimed, and just plain injured. Personally, no amount of money would induce me to ride a snowmobile in lower Michigan - it isn't worth the risk of my life or limbs. These vehicles are much better suited to unpopulated areas, such as some parts of the Upper Peninsula, much of Canada, parts of Montana and North Dakota, and much of Alaska.
Reader

Hudsonville, MI

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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Snow Day wrote:
I don't understand how the tractor could be at fault.
It's called not looking before you back out into a roadway. It doesn't matter whether it was a snowmobile coming down the road, a car or a truck - whatever it was the tractor backed out in front of it. I had a truck with plows on the front and back of it back full speed out onto Chicago Drive right in front of me several years ago - how do you not see a red car against white snow - obviously NOT LOOKING - the same situation happened here. People are always too quick to blame the snowmobilers. And need I remind you - it said the tractor driver was 75 years old - probably not the best hearing let alone above the sound of a tractor to HEAR the snowmobiles and maybe his eyesight isn't the best either. FOR ALL OF YOU MAKING COMMENTS: TAKE IT ALL INTO CONSIDERATION BEFORE YOU MAKE A JUDGEMENT.
juddy

Madison Heights, MI

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#9
Jan 11, 2009
 

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i think that they both should be at fault.
a grandmother

Plainwell, MI

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#11
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Bubba wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you that snowmobilers need to be careful. However, there are circumstances where no amount of safety will prevent an accident. A plow driver, be it a tractor or a pickup truck, needs to yield the right of way on a street. This not only applies to cars, but snowmobilers as well. It sounds as if this accident could have been avoided if the man driving the tractor hadn't backed into the street in the path of the snowmobilers.
While I agree, we need to watch out for one another I think it's pretty difficult when it's that late at night for someone on a tractor to see such a small vehicle, such as a snowmobile, or walkers. The tractor driver probably would've yielded if he saw the snowmobilers. No one does this on purpose. I doubt that I know any of the parties involved, but it's very hard for larger vehicles to see something that small irregardless. We all just need to be more careful. It's just difficult to see such a smaller object all be it walkers, snowmobiles, lawn tractors, bikes, mopeds, etc. Let's all take care of each other. My condolences to all families involved. This is tragic for all.
Barb

Grand Rapids, MI

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#12
Jan 11, 2009
 

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I am I correct when I state that snowmobiles aren't even suppose to be in the roadways at all? I wasn't there to know what happened or didn't happen, but it seams to me that both may have been at fault here. Speed, and not yielding the right of way, and just maybe breaking the law by be in the roadway to have this happen. I seems to me I read about more snowmobile accidents happening because of being on the roadway, crossing the roadway or such as this.
Randall

United States

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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Now that the bickering is going full force, let me interrupt to say that my thoughts and prayers are with BOTH families at this awful time. Blaming anyone doesn't change the fact that a man died and another must feel like dying. God Bless all involved.
my2cents

Cannonsburg, MI

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#14
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Reader wrote:
<quoted text>
It's called not looking before you back out into a roadway. It doesn't matter whether it was a snowmobile coming down the road, a car or a truck - whatever it was the tractor backed out in front of it. I had a truck with plows on the front and back of it back full speed out onto Chicago Drive right in front of me several years ago - how do you not see a red car against white snow - obviously NOT LOOKING - the same situation happened here. People are always too quick to blame the snowmobilers. And need I remind you - it said the tractor driver was 75 years old - probably not the best hearing let alone above the sound of a tractor to HEAR the snowmobiles and maybe his eyesight isn't the best either. FOR ALL OF YOU MAKING COMMENTS: TAKE IT ALL INTO CONSIDERATION BEFORE YOU MAKE A JUDGEMENT.
How does that last sentence in caps taste???
Did you think before you spewed those words at all?
You have just judged someone 75 years of age in your comments....
hate to tell you but I know my parents are that age and neither has a problem with hearing or eyesight, neither wears glasses or a hearing aid either....and none of their friends do!
So, before you put people in their 70's as hearing/sight impaired,you may want to re-think your future comments before you judge anyone youself...
we're talking 70's, not 90's
Oh, and were you there?
silentwave

Grand Rapids, MI

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#15
Jan 11, 2009
 

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The crash is still under investigation at this time and I'm not assuming anything right now.
my2cents

Cannonsburg, MI

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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Randall wrote:
Now that the bickering is going full force, let me interrupt to say that my thoughts and prayers are with BOTH families at this awful time. Blaming anyone doesn't change the fact that a man died and another must feel like dying. God Bless all involved.
DITTO,
very well put, thank you
mominDorr

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Jan 11, 2009
 

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I live in neighboring Salem township and there are many many snowmobiles out here - I agree the tractor driver should yield the right of way when backing out of a drive, however, several times I have been going to pull out of my rural driveway only to be zipped in front of by a snowmobile going 80-100 miles per hour (or more)- they are always going sofast, it is not the same as a car or truck going 50-60 or slower on winter roads. The comments about motorcyles that get pulled out in front of, they too are usualy traveling at some sort of a speed limit, therefore is most likley a yielding fault. The snowmobiles get faster and faster all of the time. Why do they not have a speed limit when traveling the same roads that all cars and trucks as well as motorcyles travel with laws to abide. Sorry for everyone in this situation. Please do not judge the 75 year olds hearing - are you 75 yet? It is a written rule that at 75 we no longer can hear well?

Since: Nov 08

Grand Rapids, MI

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#18
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Chris wrote:
Snowmobiliers need pay more attention to where they are going,this accident could have been avoided if they were paying attention to where they were going ,look for vehicles or anything that is on the road, watch for snow plows. This accident could have been avoided!
you seem to have it all figured out. perhaps you should charge for your consultation.
My Opinion

Allegan, MI

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#19
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Barb wrote:
I am I correct when I state that snowmobiles aren't even suppose to be in the roadways at all? I wasn't there to know what happened or didn't happen, but it seams to me that both may have been at fault here. Speed, and not yielding the right of way, and just maybe breaking the law by be in the roadway to have this happen. I seems to me I read about more snowmobile accidents happening because of being on the roadway, crossing the roadway or such as this.
Yes you are 100% correct. Snowmobiles are not allowed on the roadways. Many snowmobilers think that they do not have to obey laws such as riding on roadways and private property. My in-laws have a large problem with snowmobilers tresspassing on their farm. Unfortunatly, law enforcement budgets are shrinking and enforcement can not applied efficently. This then leads to tragedies for many familes.
Jerry Hilandsen

Waldo, WI

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#20
Jan 11, 2009
 

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OShow wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe the person on the Tractor needed to be paying more attention to what he was doing! With your logic that means all Motorcyclists should be watching where they are going when vehicles turn left into them!
Motorcycles are legitimate registered motor vehicles authorized to be on the roadway. Snowmobiles are toys. At least for the 99% of people who don't live in an artic climate.

“So what!!”

Since: Apr 08

Lakeview, Mi.

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#21
Jan 11, 2009
 

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Barb wrote:
I am I correct when I state that snowmobiles aren't even suppose to be in the roadways at all? I wasn't there to know what happened or didn't happen, but it seams to me that both may have been at fault here. Speed, and not yielding the right of way, and just maybe breaking the law by be in the roadway to have this happen. I seems to me I read about more snowmobile accidents happening because of being on the roadway, crossing the roadway or such as this.
A snowmobile may be operated on the right-of way of a public highway (except a limited access highway) if it is operated at the extreme right of the open portion of the right-of-way and with the flow of traffic on the highway. Snowmobiles operated on a road right-of-way must travel in a single file and shall not be operated abreast except when overtaking or passing another snowmobile.

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