Snowmobiler injured in National Forest.

January 22, 2016

free_soil_meade_fire_atv_rural_snowmobile_012216By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief. 

MEADE TOWNSHIP — A 27-year-old Joliet, Illinois man received a broken leg Friday night when the snowmobile he was driving collided with a tree. The crash occurred sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. on Manistee National Forest Trail 8407, otherwise known as snowmobile trail 614, about 1.5 miles north of Free Soil near the Mason-Lake counties line.

The man was driving a 2004 Yamaha snowmobile and was the last of three sleds when he failed to make a left-hand turn, according to Free Soil/Meade Fire Department Chief Vince Williams. The injured snowmobiler was transported by his companions to the intersection of Campbell and Koenig roads, where they were going to picked up by a family member. The initial call to Mason-Oceana 911 indicated the crash occurred on Campbell, possibly south of Free Soil Road. Williams said he knew Trail 614 was more likely the location. Upon arriving at Free Soil Road and Trail 614, Williams came across two snowmobilers. He one to travel south and one to travel north for about a mile to see if they could find anyone injured or a damaged snowmobile. The snowmobiler traveling north located the Yamaha sled but no driver.

“I knew that the trail intersected with Campbell Road and decided to head in that direction,” Williams said. In the meantime, the fire department’s ATV was stationed at Free Soil and 614. Williams also requested that Fountain Area Fire Department be dispatched, knowing that Trail 614 ran through Fountain’s coverage area. Moments after dispatching Fountain, though, the snowmobiler was located.

The snowmobiler was transported by Life EMS ambulance to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. Also responding to the scene was Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Williams said the crash was the first one his department has responded to this winter.