A Chatham man has been airlifted to a London hospital following a serious collision involving a snowmobile Wednesday.

Chatham-Kent police were called to a serious accident around 5:28 p.m. on Pain Court Line between Bear Line and Winter Line Road. According to police, the collision involved a green Ford Windstar minivan and a black Ski-doo snowmobile.

Police say the collision occurred when the snowmobile collided with the minivan while it was making a turn.

A 31-year-old man was transported to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance with major injuries. He was immediately airlifted to the London Health Sciences Centre with life threatening injuries. The driver of the minivan, a 45-year-old Pain Court woman suffered minor injuries.

Damage is estimated at $20,000.

The collision remains under investigation.

OPP reminding riders about safety

Provincial police are asking riders to be cautious after five fatal snowmobile collisions so far this season on Ontario roadways.

Snowmobilers are reminded to always travel at speeds which take into consideration not only their ability, but also the weather and surface conditions.

It is especially important during heavy snowfall, high winds, when snow banks are present and when visibility becomes obscured or is reduced to zero.

Police recommend using designated trails that are marked, mapped, maintained and patrolled, and avoiding closed trails and not riding on roads, lakes, unfamiliar terrain and private property.