DIXFIELD – A Mexico teen owes his life to two Dixfield men who tracked his hours-old snowmobile trail during Wednesday’s storm to the stuck teen on Holman Mountain, according to Maine Warden Dave Chabot.

The men, Brian Palmer of 153 Averill Hill Road and Ernie Cloutier of 259 Averill Hill Road, revived Cody Magoon, 16, whom they said was unresponsive when found, then drove him out on a snowmobile to Cloutier’s home.

There, bundled in blankets and laying on an ambulance gurney, Magoon was wheeled into a waiting Med-Care ambulance at about 3:30 p.m. and taken to Rumford Hospital. Magoon was treated and later released, according to a nursing supervisor contacted early Wednesday evening.

“They definitely saved his life. Thank God for people that aren’t scared to step up and help,” Chabot said.

The rescue operation began to unfold after Magoon, using a cell phone, called the Maine State Police barracks in Gray at 1:19 p.m. The call was patched through to Chabot, who patrols Androscoggin County and was in Greene at the time.

After speaking with Magoon, Chabot said he realized that the boy’s condition was deteriorating quickly and told him to stay with the sled.

Not knowing the Dixfield backcountry, Chabot called Warden Sgt. Rick Mills of Andover, who used to work in Dixfield. Mills, who was 30 minutes away, phoned Palmer, a hunter, trapper and tracker, and asked him to look for Magoon.

“He knew that I knew the country and told me he was afraid that if someone didn’t get in there soon, we’d lose him,” Palmer said at Cloutier’s house of the 2 p.m. call from Mills.

Palmer said he called Cloutier, because he has a big, powerful snowmobile, and the two men headed into the Holman Mountain range behind Cloutier’s home. They rode as far as Carthage, then doubled back.

Triangulating Magoon’s two cell phone calls for help, state police told the two responding wardens and Palmer and Cloutier that Magoon was somewhere behind Dixfield’s Sugarloaf Mountain.

Mills said he’d seen Magoon at 10 a.m. out snowmobiling in the Dixfield area. Palmer and Cloutier then found Magoon’s trail.

“The track was four to five hours old that we were following. There was a lot of snow in it, plus ice. We were worried we weren’t going to find him. They said he was headed to Jay,” Palmer said.

Eventually they found Magoon, whom Palmer said they believe got stuck at about 11 a.m.

“He was on the steepest part of Holman Mountain. He didn’t say nothing when we got there for the first few minutes. We knew he was in trouble. He was unresponsive,” Palmer said.

“His T-shirt was soaked and his jacket was frozen stiff,” Cloutier said.

“He was in the last stage of hypothermia,” Chabot said.

“He was shutting down. His gloves were off and he was sitting there in the rain. His eyes didn’t recognize us. His hands were white. There wasn’t any red to them. He was soaked right to the skin. He was just huddled there, so we got him up and rubbed him and he started shaking,” Palmer said.

The pair gave Magoon hand warmers and put him on Cloutier’s sled, then drove him out to Cloutier’s house to care for him until help, which was staged nearby, could arrive.

Chabot and Palmer both said that Magoon was dressed right for snow, but not for the heavy rain and freezing rain that fell much of Wednesday.

“We rely heavily on the public for things like this. If it wasn’t for Mr. Palmer and Mr. Cloutier, this might have turned out to be a different story,” Chabot added.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.