Man testing snowmobile dies after hitting fence

CALGARY — A Calgary man who was testing out a snowmobile he wanted to buy has died after hitting a barbed wire fence.

CALGARY — A Calgary man who was testing out a snowmobile he wanted to buy has died after hitting a barbed wire fence.

Sam Mitchell O’Brien, 47, crashed the vehicle on Wednesday afternoon.

Chad Tapper, who was selling the machine to his housemate, watched the fatal collision unfold from their front porch.

Tapper employed O’Brien at his roofing company.

He says the man couldn’t stop in time because he was going too fast.

O’Brien was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

“His neck got cut in the barbed wire fence — there was nothing you could do,” said Tapper.

“You figured he was dead there and then.”

His mother, Sharon Sobus of Edmonton, said the family is stunned by the “freak accident” that claimed O’Brien’s life.

“This is a tremendous shock to me,” said Sobus.

“There’s been a lot of tragic accidents on these things and unfortunately he was one of them.”

Traffic police are investigating the collision to determine whether speed or alcohol were involved.

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