Snowmobile crashes keep wardens busy over weekend


CHINA — Late snowfall and above-average temperatures and speed kept the Maine Warden Service busy with a rash of weekend snowmobile accidents resulting in injuries, including an incident involving a Strong resident.

At about 2 a.m. Sunday, Maine wardens investigated a snowmobile crash in China off the Stanley Hill Road.

According to John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service, Kenneth Cormier, 47, of China and David Willard, 25, of Oakland were traveling across a field when they struck a small mound, ejecting them both.

MacDonald said the men were able to operate their machine and drive it back to a residence where they were both taken to Maine General Hospital in Waterville with moderate injuries. The Warden Service said speed was a factor.

Prior to this incident, wardens were called to investigate a snowmobile crash on Sokokis Lake in Limerick.

According to MacDonald, John Ferguson, 50, of Limerick was traveling west on the lake in very foggy conditions at about 1:30 a.m., when his machine crashed into the shoreline near Philpot’s Landing.

MacDonald said Ferguson was ejected. His body collided with a shed near a camp. He was found by his brother-in-law, Charles Pellegrino of Limerick, and taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland with serious injuries.

MacDonald said that speed was a contributing factor in the crash.

An hour before that accident, wardens responded to Eustis to investigate a crash involving a snowmobile and a vehicle on Airport Road.

According to MacDonald, Jason Pillsbury, 28, of Strong was operating a Toyota Tacoma on Airport Road at about 12 a.m. when his vehicle left the roadway and rolled.

Shortly after Pillsbury’s accident, his friend, John Morris, 37, of Eustis, was operating his 2013 Arctic Cat snowmobile on Airport Road when he struck Pillsbury’s vehicle.

Morris was first taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington and then to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with serious injuries.

MacDonald said the Maine State Police and Eustis Fire and Rescue assisted with this accident, and speed is considered a contributing factor in the crash.

The Maine Warden Service also reported a Saturday evening accident in New Sweden involving a moose.

Ryan Rodgers, 28, of Caribou was driving south on Interconnecting Trail System 83 in New Sweden at about 5:15 p.m. when his snowmobile collided with a moose.

MacDonald reports that Rodgers was riding in the middle of a group of nine snowmobilers when his machine struck the animal.

Rodgers complained of extreme pain in his left arm and shoulder and was flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with serious injuries.

MacDonald reports that the moose had to be put down by wardens due to the severity of its injuries, and its remains were removed from the trail.