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Rangers respond to pair of snowmobile crashes, ill hiker

Ranger Report

Forest rangers with the New York State Department pf Environmental Conservation responded to two snowmobile crashes, both with injuries, and a dehydrated hiker in the Adirondacks last week.

Town of Webb

On Monday, Feb. 3 at 2:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Matthew Savarie overheard radio communications from Herkimer County 911 about a snowmobile crash with injuries. A short time later, Chief Ron Johnston of the Town of Webb Police Department requested forest ranger assistance.

Savarie and fellow Forest Ranger Brandon Poulton responded to the accident location, where a 50-year-old man from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, had lost control of his snowmobile and was ejected into a tree. The first-time snowmobiler suffered multiple injuries and was kept comfortable by Savarie and Poulton until Big Moose emergency medical services arrived. The subject was transported by Mercy Flight to a hospital in Syracuse for further treatment.

Forest rangers waited at the location until the snowmobile towing service arrived and were cleared of the scene at approximately 6 p.m.

Town of Long Lake

On Feb. 5 at 4:59 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting that Long Lake EMS was responding to a snowmobile accident on state land. The snowmobiler struck a tree behind a home just outside of Long Lake.

Forest Ranger Jason Scott responded and found that the 48-year-old man from Ballston Spa was out of the woods and being treated by Long Lake EMS. Scott remained at the location to assist State Police with the accident report.

Town of Keene

On Feb. 6 at 3:29 p.m., a call came into DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from inReach GPS services reporting a distress signal from a group of hikers on the Phelps Mountain trail in the High Peaks Wilderness, including a 61-year-old male hiker from Brooklyn who was vomiting from severe dehydration.

The hikers had managed to make it slowly down to the Slant Rock lean-to, where they started a fire, warmed up and changed into dry clothes. The hiking party was requesting assistance in getting back to their camp at Peggy-O Cabin.

Forest Rangers Kevin Burns, Peter Evans, James Giglinto, Jamison Martin, Robbi Mecus, Art Perryman, Rob Praczkajlo, Scott Sabo and Mark St. Claire responded with snowmobiles and a UTV for quicker access into Johns Brook Lodge, which brought them closer to the ill hiker. At 6:45 p.m., rangers assisted the hiker to a waiting ambulance. At 10:18 p.m., the hiker was transported by a Keene Valley ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia and dehydration.