Sled mishap kills man

JOYANNE PURSAGA -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

He was a friendly, devoted curler whose life was cut tragically short.

That's how family and friends remembered 20-year-old Kyle Flett yesterday. Flett was fatally injured in a snowmobile crash near Selkirk on Sunday.

"It's unreal," said Jeff Flett, Kyle's father, his voice wavering with emotion. "His friends and family were his world."

Selkirk RCMP were called to a field adjacent to Clandeboye Road in the RM of St. Andrews shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday after a snowmobile crashed and rolled several times.

Jeff Flett said his son was driving alone and a family friend discovered him lying in the field about five kilometres from his home.

The friend performed CPR on Kyle, Flett's father said. But it was already too late to save Flett, whose helmet was crushed under the weight of his snowmobile after it landed on top of him.

The family plans to hold a service at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School.

"That's the only place the funeral home figures they could squeeze enough people in," said Flett.

He said his son was an incredibly loyal teammate and friend.

Jeff said Kyle, a star junior curler, once turned down a chance to play with his uncle -- two-time world champion curler Greg McAulay -- on the World Curling Tour because he didn't want to abandon his teammates prior to a previously scheduled junior bonspiel.

Wonderful brother

Kyle's sister, Kerri Flett, said her brother will be missed.

"He was a wonderful brother who was always there for me. I loved him a lot and I wish he was there for me now," she said.

Close friend and curling teammate Tyler Croy said he was shocked to hear the star athlete and "life of the party" had died.

"He will be deeply missed by everyone around him," said Croy, 19, of the friend he had known since kindergarten.

"He was a great guy."

Croy said Flett was an experienced snowmobile driver.

"We all grew up around snowmobiles. It's a way of transportation around here."

RCMP Cpl. Chris Ballard said Flett had extensive injuries and was taken to Selkirk hospital in serious condition, where he died.

Ballard said it's unclear what caused the crash and the machine didn't appear to hit any objects.

Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the incident, which is under investigation.

Duncan Stokes, the executive director of Snoman Inc. -- which maintains roughly 11,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails in Manitoba -- said it was the first snowmobile fatality of the season, to his knowledge.

He said seven snowmobilers were killed each of the previous two seasons.

Stokes said snowmobiles can be difficult to handle at the best of times and few of Snoman's trails have opened this season due to lack of snow.

"If there is only a few inches of snow, you don't know what's hidden underneath it," he said.


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