Conservation Officer Robert M. Mancini, Jr.
January 21, 2020
Gorham, NH – At approximately 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020, a male operator sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when the rental snowmobile he had been operating veered off the trail and collided with a tree. As a result of the collision, the operator was ejected from the snowmobile. The collision occurred on Corridor 12 in the town of Gorham. The operator of the snowmobile was identified as Rafael Arroyo, Jr., age 36, of Revere, Massachusetts.
Emergency personnel were notified of the crash by a 911 call from a fellow rider operating another snowmobile. Medical personnel from Gorham Fire/Emergency Medical Services and a Conservation Officer from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department responded to the scene. Due to the nature of the injuries to the operator, rescue personnel had to utilize a tracked UTV to transport Arroyo from the scene, approximately 1 mile to an awaiting ambulance staged at Gorham Sand and Gravel. Ultimately, Arroyo was transported by ambulance to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for further evaluation and treatment.
It appears that inexperience and unreasonable speed were the major contributing factors in the collision. According to the operator and witnesses, Arroyo was attempting to pass another snowmobile on a straight portion of trail when he lost control, veered off trail, and collided with a tree. The operator was wearing a helmet, but had never driven a snowmobile prior to the incident. Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the collision.
According to Conservation Officer Robert Mancini, “Recent snow fall has allowed many of the trails in the northern part of the State to open; however, trail users should expect early season riding conditions. Grooming operations are ongoing, but many trails are icy underneath the new snow and caution should be exercised. It is critical for people recreating on snowmobiles to ride within their ability levels. Most importantly trail users should follow one another at a safe distance in order to be able to see and avoid potential hazards along the trail.”
For more information about safe riding, please visit www.ride.nh.gov.