MILLINOCKET, Maine — Four people were hurt Friday when two snowmobiles collided nearly head-on and another pair hit trees trying to avoid the crash in remote Penobscot County.
The complex snowmobile crash happened at about 11 a.m. on Interconnecting Trail Systems (ITS) 85 and 86 in T2R7 WELS, or Solidertown Township, which is located about 10 miles northwest of Millinocket.
Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said two snowmobiles driving in opposite directions crashed nearly head-on at a turn on the ITS trail.
That crash involved a 15-year-old boy from Lancaster, Massachusetts, on a Polaris 550 IQ, and Michael Byram, 46, of Hermon, on a Ski Doo Renegade 800. The boy broke an arm and had a possible concussion, Cpl. MacDonald said. Byram broke both his collar bone and a shoulder.
Trailing the 15-year-old were several other riders in his party, two of which collided with trees while trying to avoid the crash.
Those two riders were Robert Buzak, 49, and his 14-year-old son, both of Ayer, Massachusetts, operating a Ski Doo Renegade and MXZ, respectively. Buzak suffered minor injuries, MacDonald said. His son broke a shoulder and had possible back injuries.
Two other riders who had avoided the crash drove to gain phone reception and call for help. Patten Ambulance and the Warden Service responded.
It took nearly an hour and a half for rescue members and game wardens to snowmobile 10 miles to the scene of the crash, MacDonald said. Once there, the Patten crew used their rescue-boggan sled to transport the injured out of the woods and to an ambulance who took them to Millinocket Hospital.
Byram was taken separately by snowmobile due to signs of hypothermia.
All riders were wearing helmets, MacDonald said.
Game wardens said speed appeared to be a contributing factor. They said they did not believe alcohol was involved.
The investigation remained open.