UPDATE

Snowmobiler, moose die in trail collision

Posted Jan. 28, 2011, at 11:17 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 1:19 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — A 51-year-old New Limerick man died Friday afternoon when he collided with a moose while snowmobiling on a trail west of Houlton.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wardens identified the dead man as Leon Botting Sr. of New Limerick. Botting was the last of three snowmobilers traveling on Shaw Camp Trail in Hammond Township on Friday afternoon, according to Maine Warden Service Sgt. Dan Menard.

Friends Brian Nickerson, 53, of Houlton and Mike Britton, 40, of New Limerick had traveled ahead of Botting. They stopped, looked back at the trail for Botting, and after a short period of time decided to backtrack the trail to find him.

The moose had walked onto the trail, and Botting was unable to stop. He and the moose were thrown off the trail on impact. Both the snowmobiler and the moose died at the scene.

The incident was reported at 2:05 p.m. and is under investigation. Botting was wearing a helmet. Speed and the animal on the trail are likely causes, the warden service said.

Game Wardens Andrew Smart, Kevin Pelkey, Ben Drew, Alan Dudley and Eric Rudolph and Houlton Fire and Rescue also responded.

With a number of outdoor activities scheduled throughout the state this weekend, the Maine Warden Service reminds snowmobilers to drive at a reasonable speed according to conditions and to have enough room to brake if obstacles such as wildlife appear on the trails.

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