Franklin Countys First News

Head-on crash injures two snowmobilers

The two snowmobiles involved in a head-on crash in Tim Pond Township. (Maine Warden Service photo)

TIM POND TOWNSHIP - Two snowmobilers suffered serious injuries after crashing head-on in northern Franklin County on Tuesday.

At noon today, snowmobiles operated by Ryan Jones, 24, of Jefferson, and Michael Ouellette, 52, of Topsham, collided on a curve in the trail.

"Jones was approaching a curve in the trail when he was struck by Ouellette who had entered the corner from the opposite direction at a high rate of speed," Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service said.

Both men suffered serious injuries in the crash and both snowmobiles sustained major damage.

Ouellette was taken by LifeFlight to Central Maine Center in Lewiston. Jones was transported by NorthStar ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington for injuries to his shoulder and face.

Both males were wearing helmets. The crash remains under investigation by Maine Warden Service.

"It appears speed was a contributing factor in this crash," MacDonald said. Rescue personnel from both Rangeley and Eustis responded and assisted at the scene.

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8 Responses »

  1. I know there's not much we can do, but this is the reason I gave up riding the trails. Too many riders don't consider other people's safety.

  2. @Strongman221 This is why we don't ride in Rangeley and other major riding areas. Not everyone wants to do 70-100 mph on a sled, AND more importantly not everyone has the riding skill to do so. These bigger, faster sleds are being sold to people who have no idea how to drive them.

  3. I also stopped riding because of the wreckless cowboys on the trail ( no offense to real cowboys).
    I always ran 2 or 3 machines and rode A LOT.
    And all that went with it.
    Too many close calls caused me to decide I liked my life too much to lose it..
    DONE.
    THEY CAN HAVE IT.
    WONDER HOW MANY OF US THERE ARE AND HOW MUCH LOST REVENUE??

  4. also the reason i chose to get out of the sport. well, that and how crazy expensive it is. i recently went for a short ride, that took me on one of the ITS trails for only a few miles, to shovel my camp roof. i actually enjoyed it and missed the sport, but it only took meeting a handful of sleds going too fast on my side of the trail to remind me why i'll never go back to trail riding. never.

  5. You are all so right, speed on the trails is so dangerous. However not all of us are out of control. I first rode snowmobile in the mid 1960's and have ever since. At this point I do plan to be out there enjoying all the beauty that our area has to offer on week days as often as possible. This accident like all accidents is very unfortunate, I can only hope these guys recover well and learn from the experience. Further more please don't bash all snowmobilers.

  6. I enjoy trail riding, have enjoyed trail riding and continue to enjoy trail riding. I come across a few sleds here and there but not many, use hand signals, slow down on corners and have a great time. I haven't had any "close calls" or anything like that.

  7. @Old Man... You raise an important point. There are many responsible snowmobilers. We should not assume that the majority of people who enjoy the sport are careless or reckless. Unfortunately, when they are it has big consequences and we hear about them. I'm hopeful both men are ok.

  8. The thing that truly is the dumbest thing ever, fast machines, zero regulations. I would like to meet the geniuses whose bright idea it was to create a high speed machine and make it lawless. Roads have speed limits and lanes, snowmobile trails have nothing, trail etiquette is not law. There are motorcycles on the road that will go from 0-180 in 16secs. We are required to be licensed and insured to ride. Sleds are just as dangerous, yet only require a registration, which is just a revenue stream for the state, it signifies nothing that says the operator has the ability to handle such a machine.

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