A Smithfield man is dead after crashing his snowmobile into a tree in that town.

Lieutenant Thomas Ward of the Maine Warden Service says the accident happened Saturday as 53-year-old Brian Gatie was traveling on a club snowmobile trail with two others. His early model Polaris Indy sled was in front of the other two when it struck a tree. Gatie was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and Ward says excessive speed appears to also have been a factor in the accident.

The crash is under investigation by the Maine Warden Service. Wardens were assisted at the scene by members of Smithfield Fire and Delta Ambulance.

The Maine Warden Service cautions snowmobile operators to be aware of icy and deteriorating trail conditions in some parts of the state. This was the third fatal snowmobile crash of the year.

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