Three people were hurt in two separate snowmobile accidents Tuesday afternoon, prompting wardens to urge riders to slow down.

In Tim Pond Township, two men were hospitalized after a major head-on crash. Wardens say it was around noon Tuesday when a sled driven by 24-year-old Ryan Jones of Jefferson was struck by another sled on a curve. Officials say 52-year-old Michael Ouellette of Topsham was traveling at a high rate of speed when he turned the corner and hit Jones' snowmobile.

Ouellette was transported by LifeFlight to Lewiston trauma center while Jones was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Franklin with injuries to his shoulder and face. Both men were wearing helmets but still sustained serious injuries. The Warden Service continues to investigate the crash but says speed was a contributing factor. Rescue personnel from both Rangeley and Eustis responded to the accident.

The second accident happened at around noon in Casco. Wardens say 55-year-old Dean Dunton of Casco was riding on a section of trail on the pipeline when he struck some uneven packed snow and was thrown from the sled. He was taken by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for evaluation. Again, Wardens say excessive speed was a contributing factor in the crash.

Game Wardens are urging snowmobile riders to use caution, as great conditions are sending thousands out on the trails. Excessive speed is a common theme in life-threatening accidents, so they urge riders to slow down and always provide plenty of time to stop or react to an unexpected object in the trail or an oncoming sled. Fines and jail time can result if operators are found to be riding recklessly or too fast for trail conditions.


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