Man trapped under snowmobile for 20 hours shares survival story

3:17 PM, Apr 6, 2013   |    comments
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Courtesy Maine Warden Service

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Massachusetts man who was rescued after spending nearly 20 hours trapped under his snowmobile is sharing his survival story.

64-year-old Paul Lessard from Milford, Mass. set out on his snowmobile Tuesday morning near Fort Kent with the intent of meeting his friend Nelson Gagnon for dinner that night.  When he didn't show up, Gagnon called the Warden Service.

Wardens searched by snowmobile checking possible travel routes, campsites, and ponds near the Deboullie area where Lessard said he was going.  The wardens traveled for nearly 110 miles with wind-chill values near zero degrees.

The search expanded Wednesday morning, and Lessard was found at 7:45 a.m. trapped under his snowmobile in a ditch next to a trail with running water.  He was found in St. John Plantation. 

While Lessard was pinned under his snowmobile for nearly 20 hours, he said he used a blanket to cover his face and shield himself from the elements.  He was also protected by the snowmobile itself, and he was wearing four layers of clothing.   

Lessard said he was riding on a trail that he had never been on before, and it appeared to have solid snow at first.  He doesn't remember much from his accident, but he suddenly remembered the trail getting bumpy, and next thing he knew he was in a ditch.

"I accepted the fact that I might die, and I was ready to meet my maker, but God had other plans for me," Lessard said.

Lessard was initially taken to Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, and was later transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to be treated for frostbite and hypothermia.

As of Saturday, Lessard was discharged from the hospital, and was heading back home to Massachusetts to recover.  


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