Snowmobiles

Sara Plourde for NHPR

As the state transitions from ATV season to snowmobile season, off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRVs) are hugely popular and have a nearly year-round presence in parts of New Hampshire. We follow up with NHPR's Off-Road series by Casey McDermott and Todd Bookman by looking at their safety record, and the economic and environmental impact of this sporting culture.


New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say two snowmobile operators were treated for serious injuries in separate crashes that happened within minutes of each other in Pittsburg.

Crews responded to a report of a snowmobile crash on Trail 138 in the Carr Ridge area around 12:40 p.m. Sunday and found Thomas Anderson, of Bedford.

Officials say Anderson had been knocked unconscious after failing to turn a corner. His snowmobile left the trail and hit a tree and boulder. He was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

Hannah McCarthy/NHPR

The Brookline Icebreakers try not to live up to that name. 

During one sunny Saturday at Lake Potanipo in Brookline, New Hampshire, club president Jon Lavoie pointed to the ice fishermen in the middle of the lake. For a snowmobiler, they are the best barometer of ice safety.

NH Fish and Game Department

A total of eleven snowmobile accidents were to blame for three deaths and multiple injuries across New Hampshire this past weekend. Officials with the state Fish & Game Department say they need more officers to handle the volume of calls.

The accidents ranged from snowmobiles crashing into trees, catching fire, and falling through thin ice.

Three people, including a 15-year-old from New York died after falling through the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee in two separate incidents.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Northern New England officials have scheduled their annual tri-state reciprocal snowmobile weekend.

From Friday Jan. 27 through Sunday Jan. 29, snowmobile enthusiasts can explore trails in other states without registering in those states.

All snowmobiles registered in New Hampshire may operate in Vermont and Maine, and all snowmobiles registered in Vermont and Maine may operate in New Hampshire.

Fish and Game

Three days after a Groveton man was found dead at the scene of a snowmobile crash, investigators are still trying to learn more about what happened.

About 7 p.m. on Saturday a snowmobile rider stopped at a house on Nash Stream Road, reported there was a crash “up the road” and left without providing any additional information, said Conservation Officer Glen Lucas.

About an hour later, searchers found the body of 51-year-old Paul Fortin alone on Corridor 5.

One Dead, Three Hurt In Snowmobile Crashes

Mar 6, 2016
Fish and Game

One person was killed and three others were injured Saturday in separate snowmobile crashes, according to Fish and Game.

It is the second death in two weeks.

The fatality occurred in Stark, where Paul Fortin, 51, of Groveton was pronounced dead at the scene, said Conservation Officer Glen Lucas. 

Lucas said a snowmobile rider knocked on the door of a house in Stark about 6:30, said a man had been injured, and help should be sent “just up the road.”

Rhode Island Man Dies In Snowmobile Crash

Feb 28, 2016

A Rhode Island man was killed in a snowmobile accident Saturday and two other men were injured in separate crashes, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The fatality occurred in Lincoln on the Power Line Trail near Bog Pond, said Lt. James Kneeland.

Kneeland said 29-year-old Jordan F. Desousa of Warwick died of injuries before he could be transported to a hospital.

Kneeland said it appears Desousa hit a water bar across the trail, lost control of his snowmobile and hit a tree.

Massachusetts Woman Injured In Snowmobile Crash

Feb 23, 2016
Chris Jensen for NHPR

 

A 45-year-old Massachusetts woman suffered serious injuries Monday afternoon when her snowmobile crashed in Pittsburg, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Laura King of Danvers lost control of her snowmobile – apparently when she inadvertently accelerated - and hit some trees adjacent to the trail she was riding on.

She suffered injuries described as severe but not life threatening.

Snowmobiling Teens Rescued From Northern N.H. Lake

Feb 18, 2016
Courtesy of New Hampshire Fish and Game

Two teenagers from Amesbury, Massachusetts were  rescued Wednesday after their snowmobiles broke through the ice and were partially submerged, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Jacob Bent and Victoria Holbrook, both 17, were crossing the First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg at about 1 p.m. when their machines broke through the first layer of ice, sank about three feet and then came to rest on another layer of more solid ice, said Conservation Officer Eric Fluette.

North Country Snowmobile Festival Cancelled

Feb 16, 2016

A lack of snow in the North Country has forced the cancellation of the 24th Annual SnoDeo at Coleman State Park, according to organizers.

Although many trails are open in the area, an official from the Swift Diamond Riders Snowmobile Club said it doesn’t look like enough snow will fall before March 3 and 4th to make the event  feasible.

A main feature of the event has been snowmobile test rides from four manufacturers.

It is the first cancellation since the event - which provides an economic boost to the area - began in 1993.

Fatal Snowmobile Crash In The North Country

Feb 16, 2016

A 30-year-old Seabrook man was killed Monday afternoon in a snowmobile crash near Pittsburg, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Eric Tatarinowicz lost control of his snowmobile in a turn and struck a tree about five miles north of Back Lake Road, said Conservation Officer Glen Lucas.

Efforts by his companions to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

NH Fish & Game

 

Authorities say a 49-year-old man has suffered serious leg and chest injuries in a snowmobile crash in Colebrook.

Michael F. Amer of Swanzey was injured Thursday evening after he lost control of the snowmobile and it went over an embankment at the edge of the trail, hitting several small trees. He was taken to a local hospital and then transported by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and emergency personnel from the Colebrook Fire Department assisted at the scene.

Woman Dies In Pembroke Snowmobile Crash

Mar 7, 2015

UPDATE: The woman killed in the crash was identified as 58-year-old Deirdre Ruth Dunlea. 

A snowmobile crash in Pembroke Saturday took the life of a 58-year-old woman from Londonderry, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The woman missed a turn and hit an eight-inch tree, said Conservation Officer Lieutenant Jim Juneau.

Despite wearing a full-face helmet she sustained such serious injuries that she died at the scene.

She was riding with her husband and son who were on other snowmobiles.

Snowmobile Crash Seriously Injures Connecticut Man

Feb 28, 2015

A Connecticut man on a rented snowmobile suffered serious injuries Saturday apparently as the result of being run off the trail by riders going in the opposite direction, according to a news release from Fish and Game.

The victim, Jason Jeffrey, 38, of Newington, was pinned between a tree and his wrecked snowmobile.

The accident occurred about 12:30 pm on Corridor 11 also known as Jefferson Notch Road.

Four people from New York were injured in separate snowmobile accidents Sunday, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

About 11:30 Calian Huang of Jackson Heights, New York lost control of a rented machine in Randolph, hitting a tree. The 31-year-old and a passenger, Shuo Li, were both hurt with Huang’s injuries described as “serious but non-life threatening.”

About 30 minutes later a mother and son  were injured in an accident in Pittsburg when  Bettina Baloia, 48, of Scarsdale, New York  lost control of her machine and hit a tree.

Frank Swift via Flickr CC

Snowmobilers in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine are taking part in a three-day weekend with riders registered in any one of those states able to explore the trails of the other two states for free.

Starting Friday, any snowmobile registered in any of the participating states is allowed on trails in all three states. All other host state regulations apply, including speed limits, youth laws and Vermont's mandatory liability insurance law.

Stranded Snowmobilers Rescued In North Country

Mar 23, 2014

Two snowmobilers were rescued early Sunday morning in the North Country after their machines bogged down in deep snow, leaving them stranded, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

A 911 cellular call asking for help came about 10:30 Saturday night, said Conservation Office Chris Egan.

The callers couldn’t be reached in a return call, but it appeared the call came from an area near Pittsburg. Groomers from local clubs were notified and Egan headed to the area on his snowmobile.

Five Snowmobile Crashes Saturday

Feb 8, 2014

There were five snowmobile crashes in the North Country Saturday, including two on rental machines, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Three of the five accidents resulted in injuries and in two cases they were described as serious, according to Sergeant Mark Ober.

One happened about 11 a.m. near Whitefield. It involved Cydney Johnson, 42, of Alton who was on a guided tour. It is thought she accelerated by mistake, causing her snowmobile to hit a tree. She was taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

A Berlin woman was killed Saturday night in a snowmobile accident, the second time in a week that there’s been a fatal snowmobile accident in the North Country.

Lucie Gagnon, 58, was killed just before 10 p.m. at Success Pond when she hit an embankment and large tree, Fish and Game Conservation Officer Mark Ober reported in a news release.

“Mrs. Gagnon suffered severe trauma as a result of the crash and died at the scene,” Ober said.

Hudson Woman Dies In Snowmobile Crash

Jan 29, 2014

A 47-year-old Hudson woman died from injuries she sustained in a snowmobile accident near Pittsburg, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Pauline Robinson was injured Tuesday when her snowmobile struck a tree on an icy section of trail, said Conservation Office Matthew Holmes.

A helicopter flew her to the Central Maine Medical Center where she died about 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Although this crash is still under investigation, authorities believe that an unintentional hit of the throttle was the primary cause of this crash,” Holmes said.

Man Dies In Snowmobile Crash In North Country

Mar 16, 2013

A Connecticut man was killed early Saturday morning in a snowmobile accident in Errol, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game officer Glen Lucas.

The man was identified as Louis Voegeli Jr., 56,  of Woodbury.

He was traveling with three other snowmobiles about 2 a.m. when he failed to make a turn and hit a tree on 13 Mile Woods trail approximately 2 miles north of Millsfield Pond Road in Errol.

Three Snowmobile Crashes Saturday In North Country

Mar 10, 2013

There were three snowmobile crashes in the North Country Saturday, including two in which riders were injured, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The first involved 32-year-old Kevin Brigham of Brookline, New Hampshire who lost control of his snowmobile and struck an oncoming snowmobile, Conservation Officer Geoffrey Younglove wrote in a news release. Brigham suffered internal injuries in the crash on Trail 18 and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Maine.

Milan Woman Hurt In Snowmobile Crash

Feb 24, 2013

A Milan woman was seriously injured in a snowmobile crash in the North Country on Saturday, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

In a news release Conservation Officer Glen Lucas said Ashley Devost, 22, was riding in the dark on Lake Umbagog when she struck the shoreline and was thrown from the machine.

Lucas said Devost had been ice fishing with friends and told them she was going for a short ride. When she didn’t return they began searching. It is thought she  was on the ground for about an hour before being located.

Massachusetts Man Injured in Snowmobile Crash

Feb 18, 2013

A 20-year-old Massachusetts man suffered leg and back injuries Monday afternoon in a snowmobile crash in Pittsburg, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Kyle Mondeau of East Taunton crashed about 1 p.m. when he lost control of his snowmobile on a turn and struck some small trees.

Fish and Game said it appeared excessive speed was a factor.

Errol Man Dies In Snowmobile Crash

Feb 18, 2013

A 63-year-old man from Errol was killed Sunday in a snowmobile accident, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

John Allen died in a crash in Pittsburg, said Christopher Egan, a conservation officer.

Rescuers were called about 2 p.m. to Trail 138, in the vicinity of River Road where Allen appeared to have hit a tree and was neither conscious nor breathing.

Egan said it appeared excessive speed was the cause of the crash.

Skimming: Or What I Did With My Snowmobile This Summer

Sep 19, 2005
Paul Godin

New Hampshire nights are getting a little crisper this time of year. It won't be long before the first frost...and then snow.