At about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, Fish and Game Conservation Officers were called to investigate three nearly simultaneous snowmobile crashes in the town of Pittsburg, N.H. The first occurred when Kristen R. Cortigiano, 20, of Farmington, CT, failed to negotiate a curve and downhill grade on Trail 20, causing her machine to go over an embankment, striking a large stump. Cortigiano received what appeared to be serious, but non-life threatening injuries as a result of the crash. She was transported by rescue sled from the scene by Pittsburg Fire and Rescue to an ambulance staged at Indian Stream Road. From there, Cortigiano was relayed to a designated helicopter landing zone at Murphy Dam, where she was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon by a DHART air ambulance. The snowmobile she was operating sustained front end damage, but was able to be driven from the scene.
Investigation of the scene indicated that a second machine in the group had also gone off the trail in the same location, sustaining minor damage. The operator of that machine, Michael M. Fallat, 21, of Auburn, NY, was not injured; however he was charged with operating a snowmobile on a suspended license. Failure to adjust speed to changing trail conditions appears to have been the primary factor in both incidents.
While Conservation Officers and rescue personnel were at the scene on Trail 20, a third snowmobile crash was reported on Trail 142 in Pittsburg. Theresa Voci, 52, of Randolph, VT, suffered injuries to her leg and thigh after her snowmobile left a bend in the trail, went down an embankment and struck several logs beneath the snow. Voci was transported from the scene via a tracked rescue vehicle by Beecher Falls Fire and Rescue personnel. She was then airlifted to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, ME, by a Life Flight of Maine helicopter. The injured operator and her husband told Conservation Officers that another group of snowmobiles traveling in the middle of the trail at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction forced Voci off the trail to avoid colliding with them.
Logo courtesy New Hampshire Fish and Game Department