Arctic Chat : Arctic Cat Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
747 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I just thought I would post to ease the pain of a VERY bad weekend and maybe touch someone's life on here.

Let me start off by saying that it is mind boggling how close we are to death. Friday night after work started off as a good night with myself and 2 friends choosing to ride the Saginaw River in the Saginaw/ Bay City area, in fact we had plans to do some river riding all weekend, which has not been possible in the last 2 years due to crappy weather. The 2 guys I was with had received a call from 2 of their buddies who were farther north on the Saginaw Bay. We met up with them a popular local bar/ restaurant in Bay City (Castaways) and had some dinner and a couple (at most) beers. We continued on to the local Hooters in Bay City for obvious reasons- how could you pass by and not go see the orange and white sights, right? After spending a little time there, we figured on heading back to the boat launch where we started to go home, get some rest and be ready to do more riding on Saturday. Conditions were good and smooth with just enough snow to lubricate and cool the engines.

This is where is turned bad.....real bad........

Ten minutes after leaving Hooters, the 5 of us were cruising along the river. I was bringing up the rear and probably cruising 75-80. Next thing I know, the 3 ahead of me are stopped and hopping of their sleds and all I can see is a wadded up pile of plastic and metal which was an RX-1 Yamaha 2 minutes prior. The other 3 were already running around yelling "BZ" (their friend's nickname). They were frantically looking in the weeds by the river- all I could see was that steaming wad of RX-1. As I looked 50 yards to the right- under an old railroad bridge, I could see a body. I ran over and tried to see how he was. He was not moving.......I yelled to the others, but only 1 other friend heard me. I felt that I had to get the helmet off to see if I could revive him. When myself and the other guy who got there got the helmet off, it was bad-----real bad. We could not see anything but blood. There was blood coming out of every opening in his head, and arms and legs appeared to be laying funny, like being all broken up. Like I said, blood everywhere and no pulse. It was immediately apparent that it was already too late- and it was. There would be no saving him. Needless to say it was the first time I have seen someone die in front of me, and hopefully the last.

If you happen to read any reports on the accident, they are and will be pinning the accident on drinking. No investigation done like a car accident...... It is easy to pin everything that happens on a snowmobile on drinking. No, people should not be drinking and riding, but I will rest assured that it was not the reason for the accident. He was hauling a$$, probably 100 plus and I don't know what else to say. But the police will have their way, and it will be drinking and nothing else- not speed, not poor visibility, not even a mechanical failure of some sort.......

I saw him 10 minutes earlier and he seemed very normal. Just to clarify, the rest of us took a breath test and passed and we were allowed to ride home after all was said and done.

This was a man who lived right near that river and rode it all the time- it is hard to believe that he did not know the bridge was there or could not see it. Who really knows what happened.... he had flown by the other 3 guys at a high rate of speed, so none of them were close enough to witness the accident.

Friday was the worst day of my life, especially snowmobiling. I will continue on and still ride sleds, but always remember what happened Friday February 9, 2007. I ask for my fellow Arctic Chatters to please remember Don Spencer "BZ" the next time they push the flipper down, and in their thoughts/ prayers. I know I always will....... I have to retain the vision of what I saw when his helmet came off for the rest of my life..... He had a wife and 13 year old daughter whom I have never met, but will Tuesday/ Wednesday at the Funeral Home. I feel they must meet me since I was the last one to see him......

Please be careful out there everyone!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
:boohoo: Wow thats really sad, One of my brother in laws friends died like that, He was running accross a river he knew well and a tree branch caught his leg and went through it, he bleed to death before the ambulance got him.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
587 Posts
Sorry to hear about you're friend. I've been through this at a car accident site. Changes you're life. Thoughts and prayers for family, loved ones and you're self.
Take care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,095 Posts
Your story had given me a taste of goose bumps on my arms after remembering what really happened to Linda 3 weeks ago. I can relate to you the aftermath of the accident. Not a fun thing to deal with, but I got to thank you for the story which sure will remind many of us here on this site to slow down and enjoy snowmobiling.

R.I.P. "BZ"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
F5FireCat, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It's absolutely devestating to lose a friend, but to lose one that way, and to be there to witness it. I just lost a friend of mine before Xmas. Not to snowmobiling, but tragic in it's way and was there when she died. It's changed my life completely and you're right, the vision unfortunately is permanently scarred in your mind afterwards. It'll never go away.

My thoughts are with you and his family. You along with them will need friends and family by your sides to help you through this.

:(
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,051 Posts
as soon as I was crossing the Zilwaukee bridge sunday afternoon and seen it all frozen over down below with tons of sled tracks, the hair on the back of my neck stood up,, Sorry to hear about this, may he rest in peace and the lord look over the surviving members of his family,, just seeing that river with ''obstacles'' (not to mention ''bridges'') immediately reminded me of my frien Troy who died near Secord Lake in 1995 when he hit a dock at night :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,735 Posts
Very sad :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,107 Posts
Very sad story, I hate to see and hear of these accidents. Lets all ride safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Yeah, thats about the 4th accident in this area eh F5? I live in Caseville about 45Min from Baycity, and See sleds up and down that river and Icefishermen all up and down their. So about how far away from Hooters was this?? And Was it maybe one of the Dock posts that had gotten him?? Possible?
Sad to see a fellow snowmobiler go :boohoo:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
It pains me to read about any snowmobilier dying out there on the trails ... but it tears a guy up when it's a fellow rider and having to witness it first hand. My thoughts and prayers go out to BZ's family & friends, but also to you and your fellow riders who were there that night. Godspeed BZ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
Just heard about this accident on the news tonight. There were 2 other sled accidents with fatalities this weekend in Michigan. Sorry to hear of the loss, and having to live with that image is something I can relate to. We had a 17 year old young lady die as a result of a car accident in our next door neighbor's front yard last Sunday evening.

Family is in our prayers.

Z-Rider
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
I think this sudden rush of snow is going to everyones head. There all anxious to get out and there not thinking straight. I myself just went out cause there was all new soft snow and snow drifts almots like riding in the mountains and there was a drain that has a cement block with a metal plate in it. I go around it every time. this time went right over it and flipped my sled, (my 1972 polaris 340) but I never got hurt nor did teh sled surpriseingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
man it's so scary indeed, I almost lost my friend fri afternoon as well . Up in Tug Hill where this guy has been riding literally for 30 plus years . He wanted his fusion in front so bad the he almost lost his life and almost took someone else's . They met head on on county rt 189 and a broken arm and two totaled sleds later he's now out of work for a very long time . But he is still with us and we're thankful . However he now see's the foolishness that almost took him . I mean man I just don't get it , slow down and take in the sites . Winter time looks so cool outside and people screw it up . oh well sorry for venting , but man good post you started and I too am soory for your loss .
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top