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'Fate was on my side': Lacombe snowmobiler recounts his close call after hitting a wire strung across a river

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It was a weekend in January 2015. Jody Blokland was snowmobiling on the Blindman River with his brother and their four kids.

“I had my son in front of me and we were just going down the river and usually when we got to a nice wide open spot I would let him run the throttle,” said Blokland.

“And we got to this wide open spot and I let him run the throttle and we were going down and all of a sudden I felt my helmet get ripped off me and I got pulled off the back of the sled,” he continued.

Blokland said that’s when they saw a wire that had been put up on the river.

“There was lots of things that fell in place that day, I think fate was on my side,” he said.

“Normally I sit up on one knee so I can look over my kids helmet so if that day I would have been sitting up on one knee that wire would have got me right across the neck and probably wouldn’t have been a good outcome.”

Memories that came flooding back after all this time when he heard a woman died after hitting a cable on that same river.

“We were just out trying to have some fun. We were on crown land, we weren’t trespassing, we were following all the rules and to have to come across something like that, like it could have been so tragic,” said Blokland.

RCMP said a 25-year-old woman from Bluffton, northwest of Red Deer, hit a long intertwined steel cable while snowmobiling on Saturday.

She was airlifted to hospital in Edmonton but died from her injuries.

“Officers are still determining the likely use for the steel cable as well as who placed it there,” an RCMP spokesperson told CTV News Edmonton in an email.

“The cable appears to have been at that location for some time and we do not feel that it was placed there with the intended purpose to cause injury to someone.”

The Alberta Snowmobile Association isn’t sure how to deal with this type of situation.

“As far as we know there isn’t legislation that permits this so this is new terrain for us,” said the association’s executive director Chris Brookes.

“We’ll continue to look towards the province to give us some guidance as to what regulations or legislation could be brought in.”

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Marek Tkach

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