COOS COUNTY — One person was killed and three others were seriously injured in separate snowmobile accidents Saturday.
Shortly before noon, first responders were called to a snowmobile accident on Nash Stream Road, also known as Corridor 5, in the town of Stratford.
Robert Leblanc, 55, of East Greenwich, R.I., crashed his snowmobile about six miles from the trailhead.
Members of his riding party called 911. Using snowmobiles and an ATV designed for rescue and extrication, the rescue teams arrived at the scene just before 12:45 p.m.
Immediate medical aid was administered at the scene and Leblanc was transported out of Nash Stream to a waiting ambulance. He was transported to Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, where he died from the extensive injuries he received.
A release issued by N.H. Fish and Game said speed is considered a factor in the accident. Leblanc was wearing a helmet at the time.
Responding to the scene were personnel from Fish and Game, Northumberland Police Department, Groveton Fire Department and Groveton EMS.
A 36-year old Massachusetts man received serious but non-life-threatening injuries when he lost control of his snowmobile and the vehicle struck a tree on Corridor 12 in Gorham on Saturday afternoon. N.H. Fish and Game said Rafael Arroyo Jr., of Revere was attempting to pass another snowmobile on a straight section of the trail when he lost control of the snowmobile and it veered off trial and struck a tree. Arroyo had never operated a snowmobile before the incident and was on a rented snowmobile. Fish and Game said inexperience and speed appear to be major factors in the accident.
Rescuers used a tracked UTV to get to the accident scene and to transport Arroyo about a mile to a waiting ambulance at Gorham Sand and Gravel and from there he was taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for evaluation and treatment.
Arroyo was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Responding to the accident were Gorham Fire/EMS, and Fish and Game.
Two hours later, Ahsan Suleyman Ali, 24, of Tulsa, Okla., lost control of the snowmobile on Trail 116 in Gorham when it went over a bump, grazed a tree, and veered off the trail. Ali fell off the snowmobile backwards.
A friend of Ali notified 911 and first responders from Gorham Fire/EMS, State Police, and Fish and Game responded to the scene. Gorham EMS transported Ali approximately half a mile to a waiting ambulance on Jimtown Road and he was taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin.
Ali had never operated a snowmobile before and was on a rental snowmobile. N.H. Fish and Game said inexperience was the primary contributing factor in the collision. Ali was wearing helmet.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday, there was a snowmobile crash on Corridor 18 near Reed Road in Colebrook. Patrick Mahoney of Seymour, Conn., failed to negotiate a corner and his snowmobile struck a tree. He was transported by 45th Parallel Ambulance to Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital with serious injuries. He was wearing a helmet. In addition to the 45th Parallel Ambulance, Fish and Game, State Police, Colebrook Police, and Colebrook Fire and Rescue responded to the accident scene.
Fish and Game Conservation Officer Robert Mancini warned that while the recent snowfall has allowed snowmobile trails in the northern part of the state to open, riders should expect early riding conditions. While grooming is underway, many trails are icy underneath the new snow and caution should be used. He advised riders to keep a safe distance between snowmobiles to improve the ability to see and avoid potential hazards. Mancini also said it is critical snowmobilers drive within their ability levels. For information about safe riding, go to ride.nh.gov.