CONTACT:
Sgt. Wayne Saunders, 603-271-3361
Major Tim Acerno, 603-271-3129           
Jane Vachon, 603-271-3211
March 13, 2009

Pennsylvania Man Dies in Pittsburg, N.H. Snowmobile Accident

CONCORD, N.H. -- A thirty-year-old man, Thomas Preston of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, died in a snowmobile accident today (March 13, 2009) in Pittsburg, N.H.

Preston had been vacationing in northern New Hampshire with a group that travels there annually to snowmobile.  They were riding together this morning when the accident occurred about 9 a.m.  Preston was driving a rental snowmobile, traveling second in a line of five snow machines heading northbound on the trail between Young's Store and River Road in Pittsburg.  The trail was apparently well groomed and in good condition, but Preston failed to negotiate a sweeping corner, went over a declining embankment and struck a tree.  He died at the scene from his injuries. 

Neither speed nor alcohol appear to be contributing factors, and Preston was wearing a helmet.  The case continues to be under investigation.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers responded to the scene, along with personnel from the 45th Parallel Emergency Medical Services and the Pittsburg Police and Fire departments.

It was the fifth fatal snow machine accident of the season in New Hampshire, the third in Coos County. 

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to Mr. Preston's family and friends after this tragic accident," said Major Tim Acerno, who coordinates the Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle enforcement and safety programs for N.H. Fish and Game.  He cautioned that while trail conditions were not a factor in today's accident, snow machine riders should use particular caution during late-season riding, as alternating warm and cold spells can cause trail conditions to change quickly.  "Also, now that spring is on the way and more trails in southern New Hampshire are closing, snowmobile traffic on the trails in the central and northern part of the state become more dense, so be careful out there." 

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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