Man Suffers Broken Bones in Snowmobile Crash Near Long Lake
A Massachusetts man was seriously injured Monday when his snowmobile collided with a pickup truck at a road crossing in northern Aroostook County.
The Maine Warden Service said 48-year-old Mark Sutherland of Sterling, Mass., failed to stop his snowmobile as he was traveling from Connecting Trail 96 onto a private road near Long Lake.
When Sutherland entered East Road, which is a private, plowed road, 68-year-old William Laplante was traveling through the intersection in his pickup truck. Game wardens say Sutherland’s snowmobile struck the grill, front bumper and plow frame of the truck with enough force to spin the truck completely around.
Sutherland suffered a broken leg, possible pelvis injuries, possible broken ribs, and his helmet was broken. He was transported by Van Buren Ambulance to Cary Medical Center in Caribou. Laplante was not injured in the crash.
Wardens said high snow banks and overgrown tree limbs on the trail obscured a stop sign that normally alerted snowmobilers of the road intersection. Sutherlands riding partner said Sutherland was not familiar with the trail.
Following the crash late Monday afternoon, wardens worked with Gateway Snowmobile Club, which maintains that section of the trail. The club is working to make the intersection more visible and clearly marked.
Game warden Adrian Marquis said snow depths in Aroostook County are unusually high for this time of the year, and that has made many trail intersections in the area dangerous.