Tuesday, 08 January 2019 14:50

In wake of death, wardens offer snowmobiling safety tips

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GRAY (WGME) - Maine game wardens are investigating a snowmobile crash that killed a 57-year-old man near Jackman on Saturday and with more snow on the way, officials are urging snowmobilers to take measures to stay safe.

"Game wardens continue to investigate the scene to try to determine what the contributing factors were," says Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service.

 

The warden service is leading the investigation into the snowmobile crash that killed Bryan Sylvester.

 

"People don't think it's going to happen to them. And for anyone listening, that has an influence on someone who rides. Or if you ride yourself, it can happen to you," MacDonald said.

 

MacDonald says the fatal accident happened over the weekend on Long Pond, east of Jackman. 

 

Sylvester was riding about a mile and a half from home when he crashed into a large snow drift. He was thrown from his snowmobile and died after hitting some uneven ice.

 

"We have a grieving family right now and so we're thinking about them and we're continuing to do our job," MacDonald says.

 

MacDonald says that with 80,000 snowmobiles registered in Maine, the trails are busy -- especially with snow in the forecast in the coming days.

 

A lot of times people are driving too fast, he says.

 

"It's a case where these machines do go very very fast. One hundred miles per hour plus is not uncommon now so keep in mind you need to be able to stop in time to avoid something in the trail," he says.

 

To stay safe, sledders should pack survival items before they leave, notify family and wear helmets. They also should ride with someone else so that if they do get in trouble or injured, there is someone with them who can get help.