Cle Elum man dies in snowmobile accident - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cle Elum man dies in snowmobile accident

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CLE ELUM, Wash. -- A Cle Elum man is dead after deputies say he hit an elk and lost control of his snowmobile in Elk Meadows Park.

Kittitas County Sheriff's deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to the accident on McElroy Road in Cle Elum around 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Deputies say Jamie Vanderbie of Seatac, found the wrecked 2003 Polaris 800 snowmobile in the middle of the road. Vanderbie then called 911 and performed CPR until medics arrived on scene.

The victim was identified as Joseph Heitman, 25, of Cle Elum. Deputies say he had been laying within 75 feet from the snowmobile. Deputies say Heitman could not be revived and died at the scene.

Deputies say his passenger, Karla Vicente, 19, of Ellensburg was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non life-threatening injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicated the snowmobile was traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck the elk. Deputies say this resulted in Heitman losing control of his snowmobile, causing it to roll.

Deputies want to remind people that excessive speed is the leading cause in snowmobile fatalities in Kittitas County.