CONTACT:
Capt. Timothy Acerno 603-271-3129
Judy Stokes 603-271-3211
March 5, 2003

More Information on Hit-and-Run Snowmobile Case Arrest

Denis Lancey, photographed upon his arrest in Berlin.

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CONCORD, N.H. -- At a press conference today, officers from N.H. Fish and Game spoke about today's arrest of Denis Lancey, 29, of Berlin, New Hampshire in connection with last month's hit-and-run snowmobile incident.

According to a statement by Maj. Jeffrey Gray, Acting Law Enforcement Chief for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, conservation officers from Fish and Game arrested Lancey early this morning. Lancey has been charged with a Class B felony for "conduct after an accident." Following his arrest and fingerprinting at the Berlin Police Department, said Gray, Lancey was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail. A formal indictment on the felony charge will be sought at the next Grand Jury session scheduled at the Coos County Superior Court for later this month. Coos County Attorney, Pierre Morin, will be handling prosecution of the case.

The collision involved a dogsled musher, Mr. Stephen Hessert of Cumberland, Maine, who was training his team of sled dogs on a multi-use trail located in Success, New Hampshire. At the time of the incident, Mr. Hessert was struck from behind and seriously injured by a snowmachine operator who subsequently fled the scene.

Gray said that the arrest is the result of an intensive investigation conducted by Fish and Game Conservation Officers, the City of Berlin Police Department and the New Hampshire State Police. During the course of the investigation, several individuals came forward with pertinent information that helped lead officers to Lancey. Items of evidence seized in conjunction with the investigation are currently being analyzed at the State Police Forensic Laboratory in Concord and further investigation of the incident is ongoing at this time.

Gray emphasized that this was an isolated incident, and that the circumstances of the collision appear to have been completely preventable. He stated, "The subsequent actions of the snowmachine operator are extremely difficult to comprehend by all the responsible snowmobile enthusiasts who actively enjoy this outdoor recreation in New Hampshire."

According to Gray, Hessert continues to make remarkable progress in terms of his recovery from very substantial and serious injuries he received to both his legs and is slated to be discharged from the hospital sometime today. He added that Hessert and his doctors are very optimistic that after extensive rehabilitation and therapy he may be back on his feet as early as late July or early August.

Gray also thanked Mr. Hessert's law firm partners at Norman, Hanson and DeTroy in Portland, Maine and the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association for their patience and support with regard to the investigation efforts and for their timely coordination of a reward fund to assist with the apprehension of the individual responsible for this crime.

Click for press statement by Maj. Jeffrey Gray, Acting Chief of Law Enforcement

Click for statement by Stephen Hessert

Click for full transcript of March 5 news conference (Word doc, 44 KB, will launch in separate window)

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