ATV rider in critical condition

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CANTON — A Livermore man remained at a Lewiston hospital Friday night after police say he was injured Thursday in an all-terrain vehicle crash on Meadowview Road.

James Connolly, 48, was found unconscious and face down 200 yards on Meadowview near the intersection of Jewett Hill and Laplant roads by Maine State Trooper Paul Casey shortly after police were called to the scene, Oxford County Sheriff’s Deputy George Cayer said on Friday afternoon.

Police described Connolly’s injuries as critical. Officials at Central Maine Medical Center could not comment on his condition Friday night, a restriction typically put in place at the request of the victim’s family.

Cayer said he didn’t believe Connolly was laying on the dirt road very long before a passerby found him and called 911 at about 6:32 p.m.

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“It appears he made a U-turn over the paved Jewett Hill Road, accelerated and hit some potholes, lost control and rolled the wheeler at least three times, possibly four times,” Cayer said.

“It was 200 feet of out-of-control. We believe reckless operation and alcohol were factors in this crash.”

Connolly, whom Cayer said wasn’t wearing a helmet, was thrown off the ATV, which may have landed on him before it came to rest on its wheels.

He said the ATV then continued right-side up, traveled down an embankment and crashed into trees.

Med-Care Ambulance responded, calling immediately for a LifeFlight helicopter, Cayer said.

Med-Care took Connolly to a landing zone set up by Canton firefighters in a nearby field, from which he was airlifted to CMMC.

Police initially continued to withhold Connolly’s name on Friday pending notification of family due to his condition at the hospital.

Cayer said they were having difficulty finding next of kin and had officers checking in Waldo County.

However, later Friday afternoon, Sheriff Wayne Gallant authorized the release of Connolly’s name, hoping that any family members would learn of the news story and contact the sheriff’s office.

“The last update I got this afternoon was that he was still critical,” Cayer said.

Maine Game Warden Josh Smith and Trooper Casey assisted Cayer with the investigation.

Although Meadowview Road stretches between the Androscoggin River and Forest Pond — an area thick with snowmobile and ATV trails — Cayer said Connolly shouldn’t have been driving on it.

“It’s a public way, so there’s not supposed to be ATVs on it,” he said.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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