Tuesday February 5, 2013

PERU -- A snowmobile crash over the weekend left Pam Goulet in the hospital with injuries to her leg, arm, back and pelvis.

The crash occurred Sunday, Feb. 3, off the end of the Mad Tom Notch Road and on corridor 7N of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers snowmobile system of trails.

Goulet was operating a Ski Do snowmobile. She had been traveling north on the Mad Tom Notch road, when she lost control of the machine. She had been attempting to make a left turn onto corridor 7N.

Goulet's son called to report the accident. He had been traveling with her on a separate snowmobile. He was able to get to a location where there was cell service.

He called for help and waited with his mother, tending to her until help arrived.

Goulet, 45, had to be brought out of the woods using a special rescue sled. The Winhall Fire Department and Londonderry rescue crew members manned the sled.

Investigators reported that the snowmobile appeared to have rolled over her at the time of the accident, causing her injuries.

Medical flights were called for from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team, but responders were unable to immediately find an available flight.

Goulet had been taken to the Springfield Hospital by a ground ambulance, where it then met the DHART medical flight. She was then transferred to the Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center for further medical attention.

Peru Fire Department, Londonderry Rescue, Winhall Fire Department and officers of the Southern Vermont Snowmobile Law Enforcement Task Force responded to the scene of the crash.

Jessica Bolognani, 18, of Readsboro, had died in a similar snowmobile accident on Jan. 2, 2010. She had been riding as a passenger on snowmobile in Heartwellville and suffered from a serious head injury. Bolognani fell off the back of one of her friend's snowmobiles and was struck by another friend's snowmobile.

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association offers a number of safety tips for snowmobilers on its website, www.snowmobile.org: - Operators should not consume alcohol or drugs before or during snowmobiling.

-- Become familiar with the snowmobile you are about to ride as well as the trails.

-- Use the snowmobile at safe and reasonable speeds, while staying on trails and areas where snowmobiling is permitted.

-- Avoid traveling on unfamiliar frozen bodies of water and use extra caution at night.

-- Keep snowmobiles properly maintained to avoid troubles with the machinery.

-- Before going out, check the weather forecast and always wear a helmet as well as proper clothing, and carry an emergency supply kit.

-- Go in a group of at least two people. Riding alone is not a good idea. Also, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter@CMaysReformer.