CONTACT:
Capt. Martin Garabedian: (603) 271-3128
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
January 31, 2005

Two Fatalities in Pittsburg, N.H., Snowmobile Incident

CONCORD, N.H. -- A man and a woman, both from Massachusetts, were killed as a result of a snowmobile incident that occurred on First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, on Saturday night, January 29. The accident took place less than half a mile offshore from Timberland Cabins, about a third of the way across the lake east of the dam.

The woman, Dagny Collins, age 25, of Haverhill, Mass., was struck by a snowmobile while she was walking on the ice at approximately 9:15 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Collins had been riding as a passenger on another snowmobile, but had been dropped off on foot out on the lake. She did not know the man who struck her.

The driver of the snowmobile that hit Collins was Michael Carlson, age 24, of Templeton, Mass. Carlson was the sole rider on his snowmobile, though a friend on another sled accompanied him. Carlson was seriously injured by the impact of the crash, and was subsequently transported to the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook. He was later was transferred to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, where he died on Sunday.

The incident is still under investigation, but speed and alcohol may have contributed to the event, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department law enforcement officers.

Fish and Game officials urge snowmobile operators and pedestrians to use caution and common sense to avoid tragedy. "This incident shows in a devastating way how important it is to not drive beyond your headlights. It's critical to be able to stop within the distance you can see," says Tim Acerno, coordinator of Fish and Game's Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) Program. "Likewise, those on foot -- especially in areas of high snowmobile activity -- must be cautious. Don't go out on the lakes at night without a light to make you visible. Whether you're on a sled or on foot, always expect the unexpected."

Click here to find out more about snowmobile safety and OHRV regulations in New Hampshire.

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