Dust, moose factors that led to ATV accident, warden says

Posted Aug. 30, 2014, at 5:07 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 31, 2014, at 1:59 p.m.

TOWNSHIP 43, Maine – A moose and a cloud of dust helped cause a 36-year-old ATV rider to suffer serious injuries in a one-vehicle crash on Saturday, officials said.

Jamie Dow of Litchfield was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center. He suffered a fractured skull and a broken arm, and was in stable condition at EMMC on Sunday afternoon, according to Maine Game Warden Brad Richard.

Dow was the only person injured in the accident, which was reported at about 2 p.m. in a heavily wooded area southwest of Grand Lake Stream, a dispatcher from the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department said.

The rider, Richard said, was among a group of all-terrain vehicle riders on Trail 103 when a moose jumped onto the trail, which is fairly narrow and has steep banks. Dow turned sharply to avoid the moose and went off the road. His ATV hit a tree and the man was thrown about 20 feet, Richard said.

“The dust was probably a considerable factor in the accident,” Richard said late Saturday. “The dust was created by the group of ATVers ahead of him and probably hindered his visibility, which would have given him less time to react to the moose. It was probably the biggest issue, which really hindered his ability to see.”

Richard and a Maine Forest Ranger, Aaron Currier, got to the scene before any other emergency service personnel and helped Dow as much as they could, Richard said. Richard was in Grand Lake Stream, about five or six miles from the accident, when the 911 call came in, he said.

They had the helicopter land in a gravel pit about a mile from the accident, and a Downeast Ambulance Service ambulance took the man to it, Richard said.

The terrain near the accident was rough and remote enough so that Richard felt it appropriate to call LifeFlight. He said he expected it would take almost two hours before an ambulance could make it to a trauma center such as EMMC — a flight the helicopter could make it in minutes.

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