December 30, 2013

Police investigating snowmobile accident on Madison public road

Driver was operating illegally on John Street and had been drinking, according to Madison Police Department.

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

MADISON — A local man was taken to hospital Sunday night after he crashed his snowmobile into a parked car on John Street in the middle of a snowstorm after drinking alcohol, police said.

Jeffrey Hayden, 30, of Madison, was driving the snowmobile on a public road illegally and had been drinking before the accident happened, said Sgt. David Trask of the Madison Police Department.

“There were so many violations I couldn’t even begin to assess them at this point,” Trask said.

The accident came a day before the Maine Warden Service and the Maine Snowmobile Association urged snowmobilers to use common sense to avoid accidents such as those about a year ago on Rangeley Lake that left four dead.

Hayden, who lives on John Street, was riding the snowmobile toward his home Sunday night when he collided with a parked car on the side of the road, destroying the car and causing minor damage to a pickup truck parked in front of it, Trask said. The accident was reported about 9:40 p.m. by a neighbor who heard the crash, said Trask.

“It was snowing really hard and the car was so covered in snow that he didn’t see it until the last second,” said Trask. About a foot of snow fell in the area Sunday night.

Hayden’s legs got caught on the handlebar of the snowmobile as he was ejected, but Trask said he did not think any of the injuries were life-threatening. He was taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, but a nursing supervisor there said Monday that she did not have information on Hayden.

Hayden could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.

Operating a snowmobile on a public way is illegal and Trask said there will likely be multiple charges for Hayden, who was also operating with a suspended license. Trask said Hayden had been drinking but it was unclear whether his blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. Police are waiting for the results of a blood test.

During a snowstorm more people are inclined to think they can operate snowmobiles on public roads even though it’s still illegal, said Trask, who said it is dangerous even if there are few cars out.

“Plows are out and there is a lot of danger between parked cars, the fact that it is harder to see and other hazards,” he said. “It’s pretty dangerous but people do it sometimes.”

Hayden was wearing a helmet, which prevented his injuries from being worse, said Trask. The Madison Fire Department also responded.

Rachel Ohm— 612-2368rohm@centralmaine.com
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