MADISON — A Madison man died Friday night after the sled he was riding on a trail struck a disabled snowmobile trail groomer, Maine Warden Service Sgt. Chris Simmons stated in a report early Saturday afternoon.

Richard Pepin II, 29, was traveling on ITS 87 when he topped a ridge, traveled a distance and hit the groomer, Simmons said.

The groomer is owned by the Abnaki Sno-Riders Inc. Club of Madison.

Its operator had placed three orange caution signs in front and in back of the machine, attached orange tape on poles in front of and behind the groomer as indicators it wasn’t in use, Warden Tom McKenney said.

The groomer operator wasn’t at the scene at the time, having been taken off the trail by club members.

Two snowmobilers not riding with Pepin came onto the scene, found him and called for help, warden service spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte said.

Wardens were alerted at 10:10 p.m. Friday.

Speed was a factor in the incident, Turcotte said. Pepin was wearing a helmet.

The incident remains under investigation. Warden Josh Bubier also responded.

Simmons’s death was the second of the season involving an obstacle on a trail.

On Jan. 28, Leon Botting Sr., 51, of Limerick died when he hit a moose with his snowmobile at an apparent high rate of speed on a snowmobile trail west of Houlton.

The Maine Warden Service reminds snowmobilers to drive at a reasonable speed according to conditions and to have enough room to brake if obstacles appear on the trails.

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