TOWNSHIP 2, RANGE 8, Maine — Two workers at a local snowmobile rental business helped a LifeFlight helicopter pick up a Massachusetts snowmobiler seriously injured in an accident just north of Millinocket Lake on Thursday, officials said.
Rob Caron, 42, of Mendon, Massachusetts, suffered a separated right shoulder and cracked ribs, a possible concussion, bruising to his right pelvis and possible internal injuries — he was coughing up blood — in the accident, Maine Game Warden Jim Davis said.
LifeFlight flew Caron to Eastern Maine Medical Center of Bangor, where he was admitted and is in stable condition. Caron will likely stay hospitalized overnight for observation, a hospital spokeswoman said.
A Penobscot Regional Communication Center dispatcher said that initial reports indicated that the accident occurred at about 10:45 a.m. near Pockwokamus Rock about a mile from the south gate to Baxter State Park, but confusion over its exact location with those who initially called 911 delayed emergency responders by more than 30 minutes, Davis said.
That’s why the two snowmobilers dispatched from New England Outdoor Center were so helpful, Davis said.
“Given the injuries involved, it was definitely a LifeFlight call and because of what they did, he was able to go right straight to the hospital. It saved a lot of time, no question,” Davis said Thursday.
According to witnesses, Caron was among seven snowmobilers riding west on Logan Pond Trail off Interconnected Trail System 86 north of Millinocket Lake when he hit a car-tire-sized rock just off the trail and was thrown from his 2012 Arctic Cat. Caron hit two more rocks, significantly damaging his helmet, Davis said.
For reasons unclear to Davis, the other snowmobilers called the outdoor center in Township 1 Range 8, which immediately sent the two workers. The workers found Caron and helped LifeFlight land its helicopter on the trail. That spared Caron an ambulance ride to Millinocket Regional Hospital or other medical facility before being transferred to EMMC, Davis said.
“They were very helpful to the whole thing,” Davis said. “They were the first to arrive on-scene and were able to wave in the helicopter and got it there.”
The helicopter was on standby at Millinocket Municipal Airport, Davis said.
Davis referred further comment to the outdoor center, where a worker there declined to identify the workers at the scene. She declined to comment further.
The snowmobiling party had not rented its equipment from NEOC, Davis said.
The accident and injuries occurred despite Caron being well-equipped and the trail he was on well-groomed, Davis said.