AUGUSTA (AP) – The Maine Warden Service is to step up patrols following four fatal snowmobile accidents over the weekend, a spokeswoman said Sunday.

“It means more people out on the trails. … It’s twofold. It’s enforcement and education,” said Deborah Turcotte of the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Authorities said a 24-year-old Bristol man was killed early Sunday morning when he hit a tree in Bremen. The victim was identified as Matthew Budrow. Authorities said he was riding alone and not wearing a helmet.

It was the state’s fourth fatal snowmobile accident since Friday night and eighth since Jan. 4.

Public safety officials scheduled a Monday morning news conference at IF&W headquarters in Augusta to address the issue.

Earlier, the warden service reported that two men died in separate snowmobile accidents in Shirley and in Brooksville while state police reported another snowmobile fatality in New Sweden.

According to state wardens, a 47-year-old Sabbatus man died when he hit a tree in Shirley on Friday night. The victim, Michael D. Morrow, was pronounced dead at the scene.

In another incident, a 26-year-old Deer Isle man died and a 19-year-old Surry woman was injured early Saturday in a snowmobile accident on Parker Pond in Brooksville.

Officials said James Douglass was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center and died several hours after the crash. Natasha Robbins was transported to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital.

Meanwhile, state police say a 55-year-old Caribou man died after his snowmobile crashed into a car at the intersection of a roadway and a snowmobile trail in New Sweden.

The victim in the Friday night accident was identified as Larry Doody.

More than a foot of new snow was reported in parts of northern Maine on Sunday. In Portland, officials said Saturday brought the 19th storm that the city has plowed this winter.

AP-ES-03-02-08 1351EST

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