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RCMP cite alcohol in rural ATV death

ALCOHOL was a factor in the death of a Manitoba man who crashed his ATV during an annual derby in Notre Dame de Lourdes Saturday, RCMP say.

RCMP said the victim was from the RM of North Cypress and was 20 years old. His name will not be released.

The collision occurred just off a municipal road about 6:30 p.m., RCMP said. Three men were riding on a gravel road when the 20-year-old drove around a corner, out of view of the other two riders. When the two riders came around the corner, they saw the man had been thrown from his quad and was unresponsive.

The young man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet, and alcohol is considered a factor in the crash. An autopsy has been ordered and the RCMP's forensic traffic reconstruction team is assisting with the investigation.

Reached by phone Saturday night, town mayor Denis Bibault said he and a friend were two of the first people to come across the scene.

"My friend got out and knelt down beside the body, but there was nothing he could do," said Bibault. "It's a very sad thing."

Bibault said he didn't know the victim.

"It's not really a flat road. There's a curve through it," he said. "The ATV was off in the ravine. We didn't see a helmet."

The town's website says the annual derby attracted "close to 1,000 ATVs and riders" in 2013.

"The 35-mile trail may seem short in comparison to other derbies but the tricky terrain, which includes lots of hills, water and mud, keeps the derby exciting," the website says.

Notre Dame de Lourdes is located about 130 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

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Why was a helmet-less drunk allowed to compete in the event in the first place?

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