BLEECKER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One person is dead after a snowmobile crash on Peck Lake Thursday night. Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said the call came in around 8 p.m. The victim has been identified as Todd Wheaton, 42, of Johnstown.
Wheaton was a husband and father of a young child, and had been riding with two other life-long friends when the accident occurred.
“It’s not a good time, they’re not in a good place. They’ve all been friends, everyone knows they’re always hanging out together,” Giardino said, noting that he is familiar with all three of them.
Two of the three snowmobilers went through the ice, according to the sheriff. Wheaton did not resurface.
The other two sled riders tried to rescue Wheaton with throw ropes, but they were unsuccessful. Emergency crews were called to the scene, including ENCON Police, State fire officials, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Saratoga County dive team. The dive team found Wheaton’s body about five hours later.
Sheriff Giardino emphasized that snowmobilers should stay off the lake right now, due to the irregular weather and current ice conditions.
“We’re asking, so this doesn’t happen to someone else’s family and friends, to stay off the lakes,” he explained.
Wheaton’s family has started a GoFundMe page, which at the time of writing, has already raised over $22,000 in around seven hours.
Wheaton worked at GlobalFoundries in Malta, the company tells News10 ABC that they are sending his family their deepest condolences.
He was also an alumni of Fulton-Montgomery Community College, where he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. The president of FMCC says everyone is sending their thoughts and prayers and in part, “We have resources available for the campus community to assist our students and staff during this difficult time.”