Manitoba father, son die in head-on snowmobile crash

A Manitoba family is mourning a father and son killed in what they call a "freak" head-on snowmobile accident.

Gary Schellenberg, 49, and his 14-year-old son, Evan, were snowmobiling near their cabin at English Lake, Man.

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, at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday when the collision occurred.

According to relatives, the father of six was heading from a campfire to the family cabin when his snowmobile crashed head-on into another driven by his son, who was travelling from the cabin to the campfire.

Russell, Gary's 21-year-old son and Evan's older brother, was riding alongside his father when the crash took place.

The 21-year old said he immediately ran to his father and checked for vital signs.

"I checked on my dad and he's not breathing," Russell told CTV Winnipeg. "So I rushed over to Evan."

Russell says he carefully removed Evan's helmet and found the teenager "somewhat breathing."

The older brother began to administer CPR and told a friend to go call 911.

When police arrived hours later, at approximately 4 a.m., they found the father and son dead. A woman who was injured during the accident was sent to hospital in stable condition.

"Fair to say that several contributing factors – including the remoteness of the area, weather conditions preventing air ambulance from attending and the time of the collision – presented unique challenges for attending officers in this case," RCMP Sgt. Bert Paquet said on Monday.

The family says they aren't sure what caused the crash.

They say one of the riders may have struck a rut in the ice or goggles could have fogged up and obstructed somebody's vision.

Police say alcohol is not believed to have been a factor, and that an investigation is ongoing.

Now, the family is left trying to cope with the deaths of two loved ones.

They say they will remember Evan as a happy teen who loved school, his friends and video games, and they will think of Gary as a caring husband of 31 years, who died doing something he loved.

"Just about every weekend, we'd go to the cabin," Russell said. "It was our favourite time of year, our favourite thing to do."

With files from CTV Winnipeg



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