Update: Man who died in North Stratford snowmobile accident identified as Massachusetts firefighter
NORTH STRATFORD - A Billerica, Mass., firefighter died in a snowmobile accident in North Stratford.
New Hampshire Fish and Game officials said the accident happened near Stratford Bog at about 6 p.m. Thursday.
Officials said the 39-year-old man from Dunstable, Mass., died after colliding with a tree. The Billerica Fire Department identified him as David Silva.
Silva was riding on the Corridor 7 snowmobile trail approximately 1.5 miles north of Stratford Bog when the crash happened.
While traveling north, Silva missed a corner and stuck a tree, resulting in serious injuries.
He was quickly located by his two riding companions. One friend stayed on scene while the other friend rode to a residence in Columbia and called for help.
Rescue crews from Groveton, Stratford and Colebrook all responded to the scene, which was very remote and accessible only by snowmobile. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers responded to the scene as well.
Despite a combined effort by the Silva's friends and rescue personnel, he died of his injuries while at the scene.
This incident highlighted some of the challenges that rescue crews of all types face in the North Country. The crash scene was located nearly 5 miles into the woods from the nearest plowed road. There was no cell phone coverage in the area, forcing the parties involved to have to ride miles to a home to make a phone call. The crash was handled completely in the dark, with temperatures ranging from 4 to 10 degrees below zero. The mutual help of several towns was required, as some specialized gear was not on hand in every town. However, like so many times before, volunteers gave their time, braved the cold and did their best to help a stranger in need.
The cause of this crash remains under investigation, but authorities believe that distracted driving played a role. Drugs and alcohol are not considered to be factors in this crash.