Two injured in separate North Country snowmobile crashes

Feb. 1—Fish and Game officials are warning snowmobilers of potentially perilous trail conditions, after a Maine man was badly injured when he crashed his machine Wednesday afternoon on an icy hill in Chatham.

Matthew Dillon, 54, of Fryeburg, Maine, was the last rider in a group of three when he failed to negotiate a downhill section of trail and his machine rolled, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game. When friends realized Dillon was not behind them, they returned to find him and called 911.

Rescuers from Saco Valley Fire and Rescue, Fryeburg Fire and Rescue and the Fryeburg Fire Department responded to the remote location and Life Flight was called. Dillion was airlifted to Maine Medical Center for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

"Riders should be reminded that even though we are in the middle of winter, conditions are more similar to early season riding as a result of the variable weather we have had so far this year," Fish and Game said in the news release. "In many areas, ice, rocks and water bars are not well covered with snow and can create difficult operating conditions."

Fish and Game also responded to a collision between two snowmobiles the same afternoon in Clarksville.

Officials said Raymond Lapointe, 68, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and Robert Skavorn, 66, of Seekonk, Mass., were riding on the Corridor 20 trail when their machines collided.

Both men were assisted by other riders, who called for help.

It took rescuers from Fish and Game, Pittsburg Fire Department and 45th Parallel EMS more than an hour to get to the remote area, according to a news release. Lapointe was placed in a rescue sled and taken to a waiting ambulance, which brought him to Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook.

Skavorn told rescuers he was not injured.

"Snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts are reminded to plan ahead for such situations and pack extra clothing should a breakdown or accident leave them stranded in a remote location for an extended period of time," Fish and Game said in a statement.