News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff’s Office
Posted on FlashAlert: February 14th, 2016 7:30 PM

Released by: Deputy Jeff Winters, Assistant SAR Coordinator
Occurred: 02/014/2016 at 1155 a.m.
Location: Near jct 124 of snowmobile trails 2 and 3, Wanoga Snow Park
Reporting person: Mckenzie Brassard (M)
Injured Subject: 35 year old female, Katie Polachek from Bend Oregon

NARRATIVE: On 02/14/2016 at about 11:55 a.m., Deschutes County 911 received a call from Brassard reporting a snowmobile crash with injuries.

Brassard reported that 35 year old Katie Polachek had hit a tree while riding a snowmobile and sustained moderate injuries and needed medical assistance. Brassard reported their location as near the 124 junction of trails 2 and 3 out of Wanoga Snow park.

DCSO Search and Rescue was activated and deployed a team of 5 volunteers and one deputy to Wanoga with snowmobiles. After reaching the crash location, the SAR team evaluated Polachek’s injuries.

A medic unit from Bend Fire and Rescue was standing by in the Wanoga parking lot and determined that due to the nature of Polachek’s injuries, she would need to be transported to St. Charles by air ambulance.

Air link was activated, but due to fog in the area of Wanoga’s parking lot, had to choose an alternate landing zone at a lower elevation. Mile post 10 on Hwy 372 (Century Drive) was selected. Two Law Enforcement units from the U.S. Forest Service closed the highway to allow Air Link’s helicopter to land.

Meanwhile, Polachek was treated at the scene of the crash by SAR volunteers and then transported by snowmobile ambu-sled out to the Wanoga parking area. Once there, Polachek was transferred into the waiting medic unit from Bend Fire and transported down the highway to the waiting helicopter.

Polachek was flown via Air Link to St. Charles in Bend and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The main contributing factor causing the crash appears to be inexperience. During a brief follow-up investigation, Deschutes County SAR learned this was Polachek’s first time on a snowmobile.


The 911 call for assistance came in at 10:55 a.m.