April 3, 2013

Man survives 20 hours pinned under snowmobile in ditch

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

ST. JOHN PLANTATION — A Massachusetts man spent nearly 20 hours trapped in a ditch after his snowmobile overturned on Tuesday on a remote trail in northern Maine.

The Maine Warden Service said they located 64-year-old Paul Lessard of Milford, Mass. trapped under his snowmobile around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. St. John Plantation is located in Aroostook County, near Fort Kent.

Corporal John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said Lessard was conscious and displaying signs of hypothermia when members of a search party came across Lessard.

Lessard’s friend, Nelson Gagnon of Wallagrass, notified authorities around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday that Lessard never returned from his snowmobile ride.

Lessard had left a rental camp in Fort Kent earlier Tuesday and was planning to meet Gagnon for dinner.
State game wardens used snowmobiles and traveled nearly 110 miles in heavy winds and snow squalls, but were unable to locate Lessard on Tuesday night.

Lessard had to be moved from the scene by rescue tobaggon and was transported to Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent. 

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