2 dead, 3 injured in Maine snowmobile crashes

11:53 PM, Feb 1, 2014   |    comments
Credit: Maine Warden Service
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BYRON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Warden Service responded to a total of five snowmobile crashes since Friday evening, including two fatal incidents.

Warden Brock Clukey says the first call for one of the fatal accidents came in a little after 11 p.m. Friday. Original reports said there was a severe accident involving a truck and a snowmobiler on East Branch Road in Byron. Upon arrival, Wardens found 34-year-old Leonardo Rodrigues of Everett, Massachusetts had struck a parked plow truck at the end of the private road.

Clukey said Rodrigues was transported to Central Maine Medical Center via LifeFlight. Rodrigues died during surgery from his injuries.

Clukey said evidence shows speed and alcohol were factors in the accident. Clukey said Rodrigues was traveling in a group with 3 others from the Boston area during the trip. Warden Clukey said the person immediately following Rodrigues, William Ashmore, Jr., was arrested for operating under the influence.

Clukey added that a second fatal snowmobile accident was reported approximately 40 minutes later on Route 2 in Dixfield. That crash happened on a public way and is being investigated by Maine State Police. Warden Clukey could not confirm other details regarding accident at this time. 

In addition to the two fatal crashes, the Maine Warden Service responded to three other snowmobile crashes since Friday evening. Two of those were in Franklin County and one was in Aroostook County.

All three of those crashes resulted in broken bones. The victims were all transported to the hospital. However, none of those injuries are considered life-threatening. 

Maine Warden Service Lieutenant Dan Scott said that due to the recent fluctuations in temperature, many of the trails are icy. That being said, riders need to slow down and remain in control. 

Snowmobilers operating at night are asked to not overdrive their headlights and to never mix alcohol and riding.

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