Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

January 9, 2014

Officer: snow bank caused fatal snowmobile crash

Snowmobiler died of ‘traumatic axphyxia’

CENTRAL LAKE — A East Jordan man died from “traumatic asphyxia” after his snowmobile flipped, authorities said.

Authorities on Monday afternoon found Nick Allen Potter, 50, pinned under a snowmobile in the Echo Township Hall parking lot. Andrea Albert, a conservation officer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Gaylord office, said drifting snow likely caused the crash.

“It appears he failed to maneuver around a snow bank in the parking lot,” Albert said.

Potter left a friend’s house at about 12:30 a.m., hours before the grisly discovery in the parking lot. Albert said the friend reported that Potter planned to drive back to his East Jordan home, and witnesses reported poor visibility that evening.

“That’s something of concern,” she said, and cautioned snowmobilers to avoid riding in harsh weather conditions, especially in the dark.

A coroner’s report listed the cause of death as “traumatic asphyxia.” Albert said a full autopsy report, with toxicology tests, will be complete in a couple weeks.

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