RUMFORD — Quickly deteriorating road conditions caused by heavy snowfall snarled traffic on area roads, sending at least two people to Rumford Hospital by late Friday morning.
By midafternoon, a game warden and emergency responders were also sent to a Main Street yard in Andover to help extricate a 9-year-old boy's leg from a snowmobile ski. The uninjured child was quickly freed.
Earlier, two of 9 people involved in a four-vehicle accident at about 10:30 a.m. on Sunday River Road in Newry were injured.
One of the uninjured, Rumford Selectman Jeff Sterling, tended to those who were hurt until police and emergency responders arrived.
“I was the only adult there,” Sterling, 50, of Rumford, said afterward.
Oxford County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Halacy said Craig Walker, 23, of Hudson, Mass., was going too fast for road conditions when he lost control of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu he was driving north toward the ski resort.
The Malibu struck a series of southbound vehicles, causing more than $17,000 in estimated total damage.
Halacy said the Malibu slid first into a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Jake Daly-O'Donnell, 16, of South Bristol, sideswiped Sterling's 2000 Chevrolet Blazer, and collided head-on with a 1997 Honda Accord driven by Michael Drumm, 17, of Peabody, Mass.
Passengers in the Malibu were Tony Casasanto, 24, and Richard Patterson, 23, both of Hudson, Mass.
Halacy said Casasanto, who was in the front seat wasn't injured, but Patterson in the back seat suffered a head laceration.
Casasanto rode with the injured Walker in a PACE Ambulance to Rumford Hospital, while Bethel Rescue took Patterson to the same facility, the deputy said.
A nursing supervisor at the hospital said she couldn't say anything about either.
Other uninjured passengers were Nicholas Sterling, 18, of Rumford, in the Sterling Blazer; Keegan Daly-O'Donnell, 13, of South Bristol, in the Suburban; and Andrew Simoes, 17, of Peabody, Mass., in the Honda.
Halacy estimated damage to the Malibu at $8,000; $3,000 to Sterling's Blazer; $6,000 to the totaled Honda; and minimal damage to the Suburban.
No charges are pending.
He said the accident snarled traffic and led to another accident in a line of backed-up traffic when one vehicle rear-ended another. No one was injured and damage was minimal.
“The roads were terrible, but still, everyone else drove through just fine,” Halacy said. “It was just a mess.”
Jeff Sterling said he went to the ski resort to pick up his son, who got out of work early there due to the storm, and was heading home when the accident happened.
“He came at us at a pretty good clip,” he said of Walker in the Malibu. “The major thing was making sure they were OK because they hit the car behind me pretty hard.”
“The kid in the back seat had bleeding from his head and he was kind of out of it,” he said. “I ran to my car and got a blanket and wrapped him in it.”
He said he stayed with the injured and tried to calm everyone involved down.
"The kids were pretty upset,” Sterling said. “I feel really bad for all of them, because it certainly wasn't intentional.”
Halacy said the Malibu and the Honda were towed by Gaudreau's of Bethel, but Sterling drove his Blazer away.
However, Sterling said he only drove a short distance before three tires suddenly went flat and he had to call fellow Selectman Brad Adley, owner of Adley's Auto Sales in Rumford, for a tow.