Four injured in weekend ATV crashes in Maine

Posted Sept. 25, 2011, at 12:18 p.m.

Two ATV crashes on Saturday in eastern and western Maine sent four people to the hospital — several with serious injuries — and prompted state officials to urge riders to use caution and wear helmets on the trails.

The first incident happened at around 6 p.m. Saturday in Robbinston, a Washington County town located south of Calais.

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the two ATVs on which Rebecca and John Stanhope of Robbinston were riding went into the woods and struck trees when the vehicles’ tires touched during an attempted pass.

Rebecca Stanhope reportedly suffered a collapsed lung while her husband was treated for broken ribs and internal injuries. The driver of one of the ATVs, Doug Smith of Princeton, was not injured.

The second crash happened at roughly 9 p.m. Saturday in Sumner in Oxford County. Peter Harrington of Sumner was riding on Abbott Hill Road with his 11-year-old stepson when Harrington’s ATV reportedly hit a tree head-on at high speed.

Harrington was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries while his stepson was treated for scrapes and bruises.

DIF&W spokeswoman Edie Smith said Sunday that none of the five riders were wearing helmets and that wardens investigating the incidents believe speed was a factor in both crashes.

“As always, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Warden Service urge ATV operators and riders to use caution, drive at a safe speed and wear helmets,” Smith said in a written statement.

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