CONTACT:
Sgt. Wayne Saunders, 603-271-3361
Major Tim Acerno, 603-271-3129
Jane Vachon, 603-271-3211
March 6, 2009

Fourth Fatal Snowmobile Accident in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. -- A tragic snowmobile accident last night (Thursday, March 5, 2009) in Stewartstown, N.H., claimed the life of George Robertson, age 52, of North Conway.  It was the fourth fatal snow machine accident of the season in New Hampshire. 

The accident occurred at about 6:45 p.m. yesterday.  Robertson was riding second in line in a group of snowmobiles on Heath Road in Stewartstown (a Class Six road, not maintained for winter use by motor vehicles).  He failed to negotiate a slight corner and went off the road into the woods, hitting several trees.  Robertson was wearing a helmet, which came off upon impact. 

Rescue personnel from Colebrook Fire and Rescue and the 45th Parallel Ambulance Squad responded to the accident scene and started CPR (cardio-pulmonary rescussitation).  Robertson was transported by ambulance to the Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook, where he was pronounced dead.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers also responded to the scene and are investigating the accident.  At this point in the investigation, it appears that excessive speed and alcohol were contributing factors.

 "We are deeply saddened at the loss of Mr. Robertson's life.  Hopefully his death will serve as a reminder for all snow machine operators of the serious consequences that can happen when snowmobiling," said Major Tim Acerno, coordinator of Fish and Game's Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Safety Program.  "Don't drink and drive -- it's illegal, whether you're behind the wheel of a car or operating a snowmobile.  Also, trail conditions are forever changing, especially at this time of year, so make sure that you operate your snowmobile at a speed that is reasonable for the existing conditions."

For tips on safe snowmobile operation, visit www.wildlife.state.nh.us/OHRV/snowmobile_safety.html.

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Check on trail conditions at the N.H. Bureau of Trails website www.nhtrails.org.  You can also call the N.H. Snowmobile Association hotline for a trail report -- updated twice a week -- at (603) 740-5050 or visit their website at www.nhsa.com.

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