Conservation Officer Sgt. Glen Lucas
Region One Office, Lancaster, NH
February 5, 2023
Berlin, NH – On Sunday, February 5, 2023 at approximately 1:30 p.m., a call was received reporting a female had sustained a serious injury after being involved in a single-vehicle snowmobile crash. The initial call and information provided a GPS coordinate on Hamlin Brook Trail in the town of Cambridge. Two Conservation Officers were close to this location, enforcing fishing regulations on Lake Umbagog, on snowmobiles. Due to the relatively remote location of the reported crash, the Conservation Officers responded on snowmobile from the lake with blue lights on knowing that they would arrive at the scene before EMS personnel.
When the COs arrived at the given GPS location, they did not find the crash. The COs confirmed the GPS location information from dispatch and continued to clear the trail north and south of the given location all while multiple crews and resources were responding from Errol Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Errol Volunteer Ambulance Crew.
After some time of failing to locate the crash scene, the COs called the rental agency and obtained phone numbers from people on scene at the crash. The COs called one of the people on scene and asked that they “share their location” via phone directly to the COs phone. The person on scene did this and also said, “We are on Trail 19.” The CO on the phone immediately knew that Trail 19 is not Hamlin Brook Trail. When the CO received the “shared location” via text, the correct GPS location was approximately 14 miles away and in Jericho State Park in Berlin.
With this new information, the COs had to terminate the response of Errol Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Errol Volunteer Ambulance Crew and start Berlin Fire and Berlin EMS. Errol’s crews had already unloaded specialized equipment and set up a staging area in response to the call, and Berlin’s units were now over an hour behind in getting the rescue call. Sadly this meant that the patient had to lay in a snowy ditch for over two hours. The cause and source of the incorrect GPS coordinates is being investigated.
After orchestrating the correct rescue crew response, Conservation Officers responded to Androscoggin Valley Hospital via snowmobile to speak with the operator of the snowmobile who was involved in the crash. COs identified the operator of the machine as 29-year-old Michael Maggiacomo of Bristol, Rhode Island.
It was discovered that Maggiacomo was the operator of a rental snowmobile with 29-year-old Lucie Thorpe of Bristol, Rhode Island, as a passenger. Maggiacomo told Conservation Officers that he was pulled into a rut in the snow, then pulled into the deeper snow on the edge of the trail, resulting the machine going off the trail and rolling into a ditch.
Maggiacomo and Thorpe were thrown from the snowmobile and both were injured. Thorpe was transported from the scene by Berlin Fire and Rescue and Berlin EMS to an awaiting Berlin EMS Ambulance. Thorpe was loaded into the ambulance and transported to Androscoggin Valley Hospital for her serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Maggiacomo arrived at the hospital later, not by ambulance and was treated for his minor injuries.
This was Maggiacomo’s second time operating a snowmobile. Both times were rental snowmobiles. Inexperience was the leading factor in the crash