Hi my name is Jerry C (I promised Jerry I would not use his email address and figured I probably shouldn't use his last name)and I live about ten minutes south of downtown Pittsburgh Pa. I hope you don’t mind but I posted the rescue sled story on a snowmobile web site here in Pa. ( http://www.pasnowseekers.com/). A lot of people from Pa head to the U.P. every year for a week of great riding, myself included, I have been riding in the U.P. since the early 90’s. My girlfriend and myself were up again this year (Jan. 26th thru Feb 2nd ).
Things didn’t look to good two weeks before we headed up, I had and accident with my left hand and sprained my middle finger, dislocated the ring finger in two places, and broke the little finger, I talked with my doctor and figured out just how I would be able to ride for my weeks vacation with my hand the way it was and we came up with a plan, so vacation is still a go.
We left for vacation the morning of Jan.26th and were about a half hour into Ohio and hit Black Ice, the truck and trailer spun all the way around and hit the guard rail, damage to the truck and trailer. Someone called the Ohio state Police, they said I had to fill out and accident report, so I did and then I got a ticket for the accident (driving to fast for conditions 45 or 50 in a 65 mph zone) The ticket was $125.00.
We finally made it to the Comfort Inn 12 hours after the accident. We rode Sunday and Monday, Tuesday we leave Newberry on sleds and head to Paradise then over to Brimley for the night. We get to the casino about 5 pm and it is 45 deg outside, check in for the night, go up to our room change clothes and head down to the casino, look out side and it is pouring down rain. Go back up to the room turn on the weather channel and see what the heck is going on, it’s the beginning of a blizzard getting ready to come thru. We get up the next morning and it’s -5 outside with 50 to 60 mph winds and white out conditions, the roads are closing the Bridge is closed and the casino has no rooms left and 30 people on a waiting list.
We left there and head back to Paradise and then back to Newberry, We made it thru the blizzard. On Thursday we went to G.M and back for the day Friday we decided to go to the falls and take pictures and eat lunch at the falls and then head back to Newberry and start packing things up for our trip back home Saturday. We just crossed over M-28 by the airport and started down the trail and I seen flashing lights ahead,
I slowed down because I had a feeling something bad happened. As we got to the end of the road and ambulance pulled up beside us and asked us to ride them down the trail about 1 ½ that there was a accident on the trail, so we did. I help the guys with the rescue sled and trailer, get it turned around and the trailer hooked back up while the medics worked on the injured man. When the time came for them to move the man out to the ambulance my self and another man rode the medics back out to the ambulance, and then back to where the accident had happened and back to my girlfriend.
There were a lot of people waiting to get past the accident and after awhile the police let someone make a little trail thru the woods and started letting people go past the accident. We made it thru and just up the trail a little ways is a four way intersection to go to the Comfort Inn, Trout Lake, and Curtis. We stopped for a few minutes and talked about what we had just seen. Two guys come flying up the trail from the direction of where the accident happened hit the brakes and slide thru the intersection and then take off again. We just looked at each and I said if they only knew what just happened back there or seen what the medics were doing they might have slowed down some or at least for a while. She said probably not.
Every year We read the accident reports posted in the parking lot of the staging area by the RR tracks and most of them are speed and alcohol related, I’ve seen the crosses posted on the different trails from snowmobile deaths, but this is the first time I’ve came upon a snowmobile accident this severe and I hope it is the last.
I'm very glad the Luce county E.M.S. has a rescue sled and that the wife man who lost his life that day is giving the E.M.S his sled for the use of another rescue sled. I always watch for the emergency location signs on the trails and if one is covered with snow I stop and clean the snow off. You never know when someone will need that information from one of those signs. Hopefully never but it is a comfort to know they are there and someone put them there for a very good reason. I just wonder how many people know the signs are there and what they are for.
I always point them out to my girlfriend and tell her to remember the last sign and numbers she saw until she sees’ the next one. And when we stop somewhere on the trail I show her where we are on the trail with our maps, just incase. You never know if or when something will happen.
It was a sad thing to see someone pretty much die right there on the trail (I knew just by watching the E.M.T.'s that he didn't make it even before they moved him out of the woods), I told my girlfriend it was a good thing we got there when we did and rode the medics in, if we would have been a minute or two sooner I would have been knee deep in trying to help that man out until the medics showed up and took over.
When we ride I carry two first aid kits with me, a cell phone, and road flares, food and drink. It has been a while since I've taken a C.P.R. class. After this vacation it's time to go get another class just to make sure I'm doing things right if I ever have to help someone out!!!!
I hope you don’t mind me sharing the rescue sled story with others and posting it on another web site and me sharing a little bit about my vacation and what happened this year, not a vacation I will soon forget for many reasons!!!!!!!!!!
- Cathy Clementz
- A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!