An Idaho teen was killed after the snowmobile he and his cousin were on careened off a ravine, fatally hitting the boy in the head as it plummeted down the steep drop, his heartbroken family told InsideEdition.com.
Logan Billman, 14, was off from school when he suggested to his 15-year-old cousin and best friend, Wyatt Billman, that they go on a snowmobile ride behind their homes in the foothills of Idaho Falls Monday.
They didn’t think they would be gone long, so neither bothered with helmets, but the pair decided to make their way to a water tower about four miles from their homes.
“They take off for the water tower... and you’ve got to go through some dips and ravines — they don’t normally go to this spot [in the winter],” James Billman, Wyatt’s father and Logan’s uncle, told InsideEdition.com. “And when they were coming back, it was just before dark and visibility wasn’t super great. Wyatt said the snow machine had been acting up … and all of a sudden they just shot off of this ravine, 30 feet in the air.”
Wyatt, who had been driving, jumped off the machine as it fell and yelled at Logan to do the same. Logan fell to the ground and Wyatt landed further down the hill, in front of the snowmobile, East Idaho News first reported.
“He tucked and rolled, he told me ‘Dad, I could hear the snow machine coming but I couldn’t bear to look up.’ It landed on his leg and grazed his head and then bounced over top of him,” Billman said. “He started yelling for Logan and saw him up the hill. He was unconscious and bleeding pretty bad.”
Wyatt called 911 and directed emergency responders to their location the best he could, but it was a remote area and it took paramedics about 45 minutes to reach the boys, Billman said.
In the meantime, Wyatt performed CPR on his cousin and tried to keep him warm, but Logan had suffered a severe head injury.
“He was riding behind Wyatt … and I think as he was going off the back, the snow machine was coming up, and it hit Logan in the head before he even hit the ground,” Billman said.
Logan was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just six days before Christmas.
The snowmobile landed about 520 feet down the ravine and was destroyed.
Wyatt was not seriously harmed in the crash.
“Everyone’s telling me how proud I should be of Wyatt and how lucky we are,” Billman said, noting authorities said his son had a “one in 100 shot” of coming out of such an accident unscathed. “Wyatt did everything he could for his cousin. I think he went through a lot with Logan for those 45 minutes. I know he’s going to beat himself up pretty bad; he always looked out for Logan. They were just best buddies.”
The accident came only days after a thief cut the lock on a trailer that Logan’s parents were using to store the family’s Christmas presents and made off with the haul.
“It’s just kind of been one thing after another,” Billman said. “But our community had really stepped up.”
Since the tragedy, neighbors and members of the Billman family’s church have come together to show their support, cooking, buying Christmas presents and donating money through GoFundMe to help pay for Logan’s funeral and medical expenses, he said.
To visit Logan's GoFundMe page to make a donation, click here.
“My brother had a couple tires put on his truck, and when I went to pick it up and pay, the guy just said ‘this one’s on us.’ Different little things like that... There are a lot of good people that have stepped up,” Billman said.
Logan will be laid to rest on Friday. On Saturday, they will come together to try to celebrate Christmas as best they can, just as Logan would have wanted.
“Logan was one of those kids who lived life 100 miles per hour, all the time,” Billman said. “He always had a smile on his face, and anytime I’d ask him to help out with this or that, he’d help out with anything.”
A natural born adventurer, Logan died doing what he loved most, being in the mountains, his obituary said.
“Any chance he got, he’d jump on a four wheeler or a motorcycle or he’d jump on a horse. He wasn’t ever really afraid of much,” Billman said.
He also had a gentle side.
“If there were ever little kids around, he’d be the one giving them piggy back rides—if you didn’t know where Logan was, all you had to do was find the little kids and there he was,” Billman said. "He was a really, really good kid. You don’t realize how much you’re going to miss somebody until they’re gone."