A Kelso, Washington, man died of hypothermia after getting stuck in the snow while riding his side-by-side in the Nicolai Mainline area east of Astoria.
Wayne Bittner called the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office on Friday night to report that he was stuck in the snow, authorities said. Due to poor cellphone coverage, communication was brief and deputies were unable to get his name, location or vehicle description. Deputies searched the area, but were unable to locate Bittner.
After continuing to search Saturday morning, deputies found Bittner’s side-by-side off an off-road vehicle riding trail on Nicolai Mainline. Shortly after, they located Bittner's body.
Deputies said snow in the area was up to 18 inches deep, which made the driving and searching conditions treacherous.
"This is a very sad and unfortunate outcome," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "The sheriff’s office would like to remind anyone going to play in the snow to make sure they are dressed for the weather and have emergency supplies with them.
"Also let a family member or loved one know where you will be going and if possible take someone with you."