Maine wardens urge rider safety following first snowmobile death of season

    FILE - Snowmobile (WGME)

    LONG POND (WGME) -- Wardens are investigating a snowmobile crash that killed a 57-year-old man. Officials say it happened Saturday just east of Jackman.

    With more snow on the way for this week, officials are urging riders to take the proper measures to stay safe.

    "Game wardens continue to investigate the scene to try to determine what the contributing factors were,” Maine Warden Service Spokesperson Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said.

    The Maine Warden Service is leading the investigation following a snowmobile crash that killed 57-year-old Bryan Sylvester.

    "People don't think it's going to happen to them. And for anyone listening that has an influence on someone who rides or if you ride yourself, it can happen to you,” MacDonald said.

    MacDonald says the fatal accident happened over the weekend on Long Pond.

    Sylvester was riding about a mile and a half from home when he crashed into a large snow drift. He was thrown from his snowmobile and died after hitting some uneven ice.

    "We have a grieving family right now and so we're thinking about them and we're continuing to do our job,” MacDonald said.

    MacDonald says with 80,000 snowmobiles registered in the state of Maine, the trails are busy, especially with snow in the forecast in the coming days.

    A lot of times he says people are driving too fast.

    "It's a case where these machines do go very, very fast. 100 miles per hour plus is not uncommon now so keep in mind you need to be able to stop in time to avoid something in the trail,” MacDonald said.

    To stay safe, MacDonald urges you to pack survival items with you before you go, notify your family before riding, and wear a helmet.

    Those few extra minutes could save your life.

    "Ride with someone else so if you do get in trouble, you get injured, you have someone that can respond back to help somehow,” MacDonald said.

    The investigation into the crash continues Monday.

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