STRATFORD — A Rhode Island man was killed in a snowmobile accident on Nash Stream Road, also known as Corridor 5, in the town of Stratford in Coos County on Saturday.
Robert Leblanc, 55, of East Greenwich, R.I., crashed his snowmobile about 6 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.
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.
Responding were personnel from New Hampshire Fish and Game, Northumberland Police Department, Groveton Fire Department and Groveton EMS. Fish and Game said speed was considered a factor in the accident. Leblanc was wearing a helmet.
Several other snowmobile crashes took place last week. One situation could have been much worse had not a Bartlett business owner come along when he did.
Peter Gagne, owner of Northern Extremes Snow Mobile Rentals in Bartlett, was driving a trail groomer on Bear Notch Road in Albany at around 10 a.m., when he came across Taylor Benard, 46, who was lying on the trail.
Taylor had crashed about an hour before. His machine came to rest well off the trail and though he was able to climb up to the trail, he collapsed. There is no cellular phone service in the area of the crash, and Taylor’s effort to place a call for help failed.
The temperature was 5 degrees, and it was windy. In addition to injuries sustained in the crash, Taylor was suffering from exposure to the cold. Gagne loaded him into the groomer and drove him about 6 miles back to the trailhead in Bartlett.
Bartlett-Jackson Ambulance Service treated Taylor, then transported him to Memorial Hospital in North Conway. He was later transferred to Maine Medical Hospital in Portland for additional care.
On Sunday, shortly after 3 p.m. Jayna Terris, 43 of Oakdale, Conn., was driving a rented snowmobile when she failed to negotiate a left-hand turn on the Meadow Brook Trail, also in Bartlett. She suffered injuries to her hip and upper torso. Her 11-year-old daughter was riding as a passenger and was uninjured.
A member of Terris’ party placed her on the back of a snowmobile and transported her to the trailhead, where members of the Conway Ambulance Service treated her and took her to Memorial Hospital in North Conway for additional treatment.
Fish and Game said many areas were down to an icy base that is now covered with new snow. Riders should be conscious of the fact that with traffic, the surface of the trail will erode and produce icy conditions that can be difficult to navigate.