A four-year-old boy is dead after an all-terrain vehicle rollover on a logging road west of Nelson shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday.
The BC Coroners Service has identified him as Isaac Robert Zukowski.
Nelson Search and Rescue responded along with Blewett Fire and Rescue, BC Ambulance, RCMP and the Nelson Police Department after the 33-year-old driver called 911 from his cell phone.
Police said the man and his stepson, both from Glade, were travelling on Midslope Forest Service Road when their vehicle hit a drainage ditch. The ATV flipped over and landed on top of the two.
Both were wearing helmets, but the man suffered serious back injuries. The boy was unconscious and later pronounced dead at the scene. The BC Coroners Service is investigating along with RCMP.
The man was flown to hospital in Trail where it was determined that he suffered a broken lower back, broken right leg and right wrist as well as internal injuries.
Victims services is providing support to those affected by the tragedy.
Scott Spencer with Nelson Search and Rescue said there was a bit of a delay locating the accident site, but once they found it, it was “pretty good access.” They reached the scene about 3 p.m.
Midslope Forest Service Road branches off east from Rover Creek Forest Service Road at about the 3 km mark, Spencer said. It was decommissioned in recent years, and is now accessible by ATV only. The accident site was a further 14 km up.
“We had our utility terrain vehicle that we just bought for this exact scenario ready to go in to assist,” Spencer said. “But as it turns out, they were able to land a helicopter close to the accident site, so they had a very short stretcher carry.”
While the ground crew was called off, two members of the search crew, including Dr. Mike Innes, who specializes in wilderness first aid, flew in the helicopter. They helped prepare the man for transport and accompanied him to the Trail hospital.
“I was very proud of our team, who got on scene and made the best out of a very, very tragic incident,” Spencer added.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Dan Seibel says they’re looking into the circumstances.
“It’s pieces of a puzzle we are trying to put together,” he said. “Lack of knowledge of the road could have been a factor, but it’s still under investigation.”
Seibel doesn’t anticipate any charges arising from the incident, but said it was premature to say for certain.