Four snowmobile crashes this weekend injures five; three in serious condition
EUSTIS – The Maine Warden Service is investigating four snowmobile crashes that occurred over the weekend in Maine, including a crash involving a snowmobile and a vehicle early this morning that injured a Eustis man.
According to Cpl John MacDonald, at about 12 Sunday morning, game wardens responded to Eustis to investigate a single snowmobile crash in which the operator struck a vehicle on Airport Road.
Jason Pillsbury, 28, of Strong, was operating a Toyota Tacoma on Airport Road. His vehicle left the road and rolled. A short time later, his friend John Morris, 37, of Eustis, was driving his 2013 Arctic Cat snowmobile on Airport Road and struck Pillsbury’s vehicle. Morris was first transported to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington and then transferred to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with serious injuries.
The Maine State Police and the Eustis Fire and Rescue Department assisted with this incident. Speed is a contributing factor in this crash, which remains under investigation.
In a separate incident, 28-year-old Ryan Rodgers of Caribou was driving south on Interconnecting Trail System (ITS) 83 in New Sweden at 5:15 Saturday evening, when he collided with a moose. Rodgers was in the middle of a group of nine snowmobiles. Rodgers complained of extreme pain in his left arm and shoulder. His helmet was completely distorted due to the crash. Rodgers was flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with serious injuries. The moose was dispatched by wardens due to severe injuries and removed from the trail.
In a third incident at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, game wardens investigated a snowmobile crash in the town of China off the Stanley Hill Road. When the men encountered a small mound in the field, they were both ejected. The men were able to operate the machine and drove it back to a residence. The two men involved, Kenneth Cormier, 47 (back seat passenger) of China and David Willard, 25 (driver) of Oakland were both taken to Maine General Hospital in Waterville with moderate injuries. Speed was a contributing factor in this incident.
The fourth incident under investigation occurred in Limerick at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Game wardens were called to investigate a single snowmobile/operator crash on Sokokis Lake in Limerick. John Ferguson, 50 of Limerick was traveling west on the lake in very foggy conditions when he crashed into the shoreline near Philpot’s Landing. Ferguson was ejected and collided with a shed near a camp. Ferguson’s brother-in-law, Charles Pellegrino, also of Limerick found Ferguson. Ferguson sustained serious injuries and was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Speed was a contributing factor in this crash, MacDonald said.
The Maine Warden Service wants to remind all snowmobilers to be especially careful when driving at night time. Operating at high speeds does not allow for proper reaction time or braking. High speed driving places operators in danger of driving beyond the effectiveness of headlights.