A New Hampshire man was seriously injured when he was thrown from the snowmobile he was riding on early Sunday morning, authorities said.
Nicholas Erickson, 32, of Brookline, N.H., was riding on freshly groomed trails at approximately 2:30 a.m. when he ran into an 8-foot snowbank at the intersection of the snowmobile trail and Stinson Lake Road in Ellsworth, according to a statement from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Erickson, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown from the snowmobile and received “serious but non-life-threatening injuries,” the statement said.
Erickson’s riding companion took him to a cabin not far from the site of the crash, and first responders from the Rumney Fire Department, Campton-Thornton Fire Rescue, Plymouth Fire Rescue, and a conservation officer from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department responded to the scene. Erickson was assessed by medical personnel but was not taken to a medical facility, the statement said.
Investigators determined that “speed and operator inexperience were the major contributing factors” in the crash, the statement said.
“Snowmobile riding at night may seem like an attractive option to some riders because of freshly-groomed trails and significantly less traffic on the trails,” the statement said. “Conservation Officers would like to remind snowmobilers to understand there are dangers associated with nighttime operation especially due to the limitations of visibility and as always maintain safe speeds for the riding conditions.”
Captain David Walsh of the Fish and Game Department said there have been “a fair amount of snowmobile accidents” recently, and not all of the reports have been tallied yet.
“But, so far we have entered reports to show 52 accidents involving 65 people, 52 injuries, and two (2) fatals,” Walsh said in an e-mail. “The fatals were both non-trail accidents; one on a lake and one on private property and both involved alcohol.”
Walsh said he expects the accident numbers “to be somewhere around 75-85” by the time the riding season is over.
There’s enough snow in northern Coos County that riding will likely continue until mid-April, he said.
“Technically all state trails close March 15th but with the massive snow amounts in Coos County (Pittsburg received 10 inches last Thursday and has over 5 feet on the ground), as long as the landowners agree, the clubs will continue grooming and they will stay open,” he said.Emily Sweeney can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.