December 30, 2013

Madison man crashes snowmobile into parked car

Police say Jeffrey Hayden was operating on a public road illegally and had been drinking beforehand.

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

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

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

“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 like those about a year ago on Rangeley Lake that left four dead.

Hayden was riding the snowmobile toward his home Sunday night when he hit 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.

“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 didn’t think any of the injuries were life-threatening. Hayden was wearing a helmet, which prevented his injuries from being worse, Trask said.

Hayden was taken by ambulance to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan. A nursing supervisor said Monday that she did not have information on Hayden.

Hayden could not be reached for comment.

Operating a snowmobile on a public way is illegal, and Trask said Hayden 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.

More people are inclined to think they can ride snowmobiles on public roads during a snowstorm, said Trask, but it is dangerous even if few cars are on the roads.

“It’s pretty dangerous, but people do it sometimes,” he said.

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:rohm@centralmaine.com
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