BURLINGTON, Maine — Three people were taken to Penobscot Valley Hospital after an all-terrain vehicle left a dirt road off Madagascal Pond and went into a ditch late Saturday afternoon and a second ATV hit two others who had stopped to help the first ATV’s driver.
Maine game wardens Sunday continued to investigate the crash, according to a press release issued by the Maine Warden Service. The injured are expected to recover.
Paul Boucher, whose grandchildren, ages 3 and 11, were passengers on his ATV, was approaching a corner in the road when an oncoming ATV met him in the turn, wardens said. Boucher, 68, of Lewiston was startled, quickly turned to the right, then overcorrected, causing his machine to roll over as it struck a dirt embankment.
The Lewiston man and his passengers were trapped under the ATV. The 11-year-old managed to free herself but the 3-year-old and his grandfather remained trapped, wardens said. Rachael Dorais, 41, of Biddeford, who had been on the approaching ATV, was helping the 11-year-old get the younger child out from under the machine when Dorais and the older child were struck by a third, runaway ATV, according to wardens.
A child, who was not identified, grasped the accelerator of a parked but still running ATV, according to the warden service. The machine was propelled into Dorais and the 11-year-old.
“It was a mess,” April Thompson, Dorais’ sister, said Saturday. She was on the oncoming ATV with Dorais and Dorais’ sister-in-law Tracy Botting, 39, of Woodville.
Dorais and the elderly man suffered apparent head and rib injuries. Dorais kept falling in and out of consciousness, Thompson said.
The victims were not at Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln on Sunday, according to a nurse manager.
State police, a Penobscot County sheriff’s deputy, several Maine Warden Service game wardens and several volunteer firefighters responded to the accident, which was reported at 4:40 p.m., a dispatcher from the Penobscot Regional Communications Center said.
Mike Lamontagne, a 35-year-old resident of Warren who has a camp on the pond, wasn’t surprised at the accident.
ATV riders who ride near Madagascal Pond “drive way too fast, with no helmets and carelessly,” Lamontagne said. “We go fishing off the bridge here and they almost run us off because they are just driving carelessly.
“We have five kids up here this weekend and it’s just scary,” said Lamontagne, who said he has reported ATV speeding problems in the area previously.
The warden service reminded Maine residents not to leave children unattended on or near an ATV, whether it is running or not.
BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.
An early version of this story misidentified the Penobscot County sheriff's deputy in photographs. He is Mike Knights, not Peter Stone.