Truckee man drowns in snowmobile accident
Remembered by his friends and family as an avid outdoorsman and a loving father, Truckee-resident Troy Taylor, 36, died Friday after a snowmobile accident at Boca Reservoir.
Taylor is survived by his wife Chante Taylor, his daughter Kelly, age 14, and his two step-sons Brandon, age 11, and Tyler, age 8.
Taylor, who worked as a carpenter in town, had been a Truckee resident for more than 20 years, and according to Chante, he died doing an activity that he loved.
“He was very active, liked to fish, ride snowmobiles, ATVs… anything that had to do with the outside,” she said.
On Friday, Taylor had been returning from a fishing trip at Stampede Reservoir on his snowmobile when, according to an eyewitness, he drove his snowmobile onto the ice on the western side of Boca Reservoir.
Taylor made it about halfway across the reservoir on the ice before hitting a stretch of open water. He was able to ride between 75 and 100 feet on the open water before his snowmobile lost power and sank.
It was unclear whether Taylor knew of the stretch of open water; however, a friend of Taylor’s who had accompanied him on the fishing trip at Stampede Reservoir that day, and who witnessed the incident, “said that the victim was a very accomplished snowmobiler, and in the past he has done some open water crossings on a snowmobile,” according to Nevada County Deputy Sheriff Ron Smith.
“We don’t know what his goal was, but it appears that (crossing the reservoir) was his goal,” Smith said.
911 dispatchers received a call at 4:07 p.m. and rescue personnel from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Officer, the Truckee Fire District, the California Highway Patrol, the Truckee Police Department and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the scene.
Truckee Fire District personnel in an air boat were able to locate Taylor’s snowmobile sitting on the bottom in approximately eight feet of water; however, rescuers were unable to find Taylor’s body until a CHP helicopter arrived at the scene.
Taylor’s body was located at approximately 5:25 p.m. by CHP personnel in the helicopter, and divers with the Truckee Fire District were able to recover his body and bring him to shore.
Rescuers performed CPR on Taylor when he was brought ashore and he was airlifted to Tahoe Forest Hospital onboard the CHP helicopter at the scene.
Taylor was pronounced dead at Tahoe Forest Hospital at 5:50 p.m. The death was ruled a drowning by the Nevada County Coroner’s Office.
Smith estimated that Taylor spent one hour and twenty minutes in the 34-degree water before the divers found him at the bottom.
He was wearing heavy clothes and a day pack containing fishing gear, the fish he had caught that day and other items that rescuers estimated weighted almost 35 pounds. Rescuers had to cut the backpack off after his body was found.
“I would venture to guess that pack was one of the reasons he didn’t get off the bottom,” Smith said.
Taylor’s snowmobile was later recovered from the reservoir.
Both the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol are still investigating the accident.
CHP Public Affairs Officer Kirk Bromell warned that with the recent warm temperatures, riding snowmobiles on frozen lakes in the area is not a good idea.