Aug 7, 2016 12:00 PM

Man crashes ATV into a tree in Potato Hill area

NORTHUMBERLAND - A man crashed his ATV into a tree in the vicinity of Potato Hill on the Ride- the-Wilds OHRV Trail System in the area of the Stratford/Northumberland town line Saturday afternoon.

The operator, Shawn Barabe, 40, of Buxton, Maine, called his girlfriend and exhibited signs of a head injury, seeming confused about what happened. He then called 911, and his cell phone coordinates were "pinged," allowing responders to get a general idea of his location.

A Fish and Game Department conservation officer and a New Hampshire state trooper responded, staging at Potato Hill Road in Stratford, along with several trail patrol volunteers. Personnel from Groveton Fire and Rescue responded with their rescue OHRV from the southern end of the trail.

Barabe, who had been riding alone, ended up getting back on his ATV and driving it south on Potato Hill Trail toward Groveton, where he met up with Groveton Fire and Rescue responders. He was evaluated by medical personnel and transport to a hospital.

Barabe told a conservation officer that he lost control of his machine after hitting two water bars in the trail while going down a rocky hill. His ATV sustained a flat front tire, bent handlebars and minor damage to the front bumper area. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, and it appeared that failure to adjust to existing trail conditions was the leading cause.

Barabe was wearing a full-faced helmet at the time of the crash, which likely prevented more serious injury.

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