Two deaths and one injury in weekend snowmobile crashes on Lewis County trails

Feb. 27—LOWVILLE — Tug Hill snowmobile trails were filled with riders over the weekend after new snowfall, but crashes resulted in two deaths and a potential head injury for another.

Dean C. Cole, 54, of Cameron Mills in Steuben County, died after crashing the 2023 Polaris Assault 850 sled he was driving into a tree off Trail C5A, also known as Flat Rock Road, in the town of Martinsburg at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

According to a Lewis County Sheriff's Office news release, "civilians that were near the scene" performed CPR on Mr. Cole until emergency medical assistance could arrive.

He was pronounced dead at Lewis County Health System hospital.

Deputies were assisted by the Martinsburg Volunteer Fire Department, Lewis County Search and Rescue and state police.

On Sunday night at about 8:45 p.m., Dean J. Beck, 49, of Spencerport in Monroe County, went off Trail C5C, known as Potter Road in the town of Osceola, at a "sharp curve" on a 2020 Polaris XC 137, which led him down what state police described as "a steep embankment" and into a tree.

According to the police's news release, Mr. Beck came off the sled during the incident and died at the scene.

The Redfield Fire Department, Lewis County Search and Rescue and the sheriff's office assisted at the scene.

Richard R. Galbreth, 35, of Hyde Park in Dutchess County, slammed his head on the steering column of the snowmobile he was driving on Lewis County Trail C4F, also known as the seasonal North Road in the town of West Turin, when he went over a snowbank at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

According to the sheriff's office report, Mr. Galbreth was alert and able to speak to first responders, but was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica for further medical evaluation.

The Constableville Ambulance and rescue sled, state police and the Turin Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club assisted at the scene.

Despite the limitations on trail riding because of low snowfall levels this winter, there have been seven reported snowmobile crashes that resulted in injuries or death in Lewis County.

Four of the seven people in those crashes died.