Sterling teen killed in snowmachine accident

Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2003

A 17-year-old Sterling youth died Saturday night when the snowmachine he was driving hit an adult moose on Otter Trail Road in Sterling.

Forrest A. West was treated at the scene by Central Emergency Services medics and taken to Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, where he was pronounced dead.

According to an Alaska State Trooper report, the accident occurred at 10:22 p.m. on the shoulder at Mile 1 of Otter Trail.

The moose, which was found a short distance away, sustained injuries to its chest and legs and was shot and killed. It was donated to charity.

West's mother, Rebecca West, said her son had been snowmachining with his brother, Justin Rain-water, and a friend, Lucas Fellman, when the incident happened.

All three were wearing helmets, she said.

She said one of the boys believed Forrest saw the moose because his snowmachine's brake light came on and he attempted to swerve to avoid the collision, but he could not.

Trooper spokesperson Greg Wilkinson said this is the fourth snowmachine-related fatality in the state this winter.

A 24-year-old Stebbins man died Saturday when the snowmachine he was riding on broke through ice. The driver managed to crawl to safety, but the passenger did not. His body was recovered from the water Sunday.

Earlier this winter, a man died near Glennallen when his snowmachine broke through thin ice, and last week, a Palmer man died while snowmachining when he hit his head on a boat parked in his driveway.

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