ATTEAN TOWNSHIP — One man was hospitalized with head injuries and another faced a criminal charge after their snowmobiles collided on Big Wood Pond in Somerset County on Thursday afternoon.

Robert Verge, 62, of Scarborough was transferred Friday from Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where a spokeswoman said he was in serious condition Friday night.

Verge’s companion, Lawrence Salamone, 61, of Gorham, was not injured in the crash west of Jackman, but was charged with operating under the influence, Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said in a release.

Both men were driving Ski-Doo snowmobiles and were not wearing helmets when they collided around 4:45 p.m. First responders took Verge to the Jackman Region Health Center first to stabilize him, MacDonald said. An ambulance then took him to the hospital in Bangor.

Mike Smyth, deputy chief of the Jackman-Moose River Fire Department, said someone who was ice fishing witnessed the collision and called 911.

The crash scene was more than half a mile from the boat landing off Mill Road, said Fire Chief Bill Jarvis. The fire department used a snowmobile and rescue sled, which is able to hold a backboard, supplies and a paramedic.

It took rescue crews seven minutes to arrive at the scene, after they were radioed at 4:50 p.m., according to the Somerset County Communications dispatch log.

The temperature was in the 30s, and there was about 18 inches of good ice, Smyth said.

Sgt. William Chandler and Warden Paul Mason responded to the incident, which remains under investigation. In addition to the fire department, they were assisted by Jackman ambulance personnel.

The warden service “cautions all snowmobile operators to never drink alcohol and operate a machine, always wear a helmet, and be aware of ever-changing late season conditions,” MacDonald said.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Erin Rhoda can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

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