CARRABASSETT VALLEY — A 24-year-old New Hampshire man with a head injury was flown to the hospital after he skied into a tree Saturday afternoon at Sugarloaf ski resort, police said.

Nicholas Jones, of Bedford, N.H., was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he underwent surgery Saturday, Carrabassett Valley Police Lt. Randy Walker said.

Walker said Sunday morning that he didn’t know Jones’ condition following the surgery. When asked about Jones, a hospital spokeswoman said that she could neither confirm nor deny any information related to the situation.

The incident came shortly after the first skier death at the mountain this winter. A Canadian man who was visiting Sugarloaf with his wife and two children died Thursday after he skied into a tree.

On Saturday, friends of Jones discovered him lying in the snow unconscious after he hit a tree alongside the King’s Landing trail around noon, Walker said. He was not wearing a helmet.

Ski patrol responded to the accident scene and transported Jones down the mountain in a toboggan, taking him to the Sugarloaf First Aid Clinic near the base lodge, Walker said.

Paramedics from NorthStar Ambulance took over Jones’ care once he arrived at the clinic, where he was conscious and responsive, Walker said, recalling the scene at the clinic.

Jones was taken by ambulance to a landing site at the Kingfield fire station, where he was transferred to the helicopter, Walker said. Kingfield is about 15 miles from the resort.

Jones appears to have caught a ski edge in the snow on the intermediate-level trail and veered off into the trees, suffering a head injury, Walker said. The police department also acts as the resort’s security force and responds to emergency calls on the mountain.

Ethan Austin, communications manager at Sugarloaf, said that the King’s Landing trail had been groomed Saturday morning. Grooming vehicles with tillers churned up the snow and then packed it down into what is known as corduroy, the typical packed snow surface for groomed trails, Austin said Sunday.

In the incident at Sugarloaf Thursday, David Morse, 41, of Harmony, Nova Scotia, died shortly after 5 p.m. in an ambulance that was en route to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, police said.

Morse told rescue workers that the edge of his skis had caught in the snow, causing him to lose control and speed into the woods off Lower Timberline trail, police said. He was wearing a helmet.

Ralph Johnson, chief information officer for Franklin Memorial Hospital, said Sunday that he didn’t have details about the two incidents last week at Sugarloaf. The hospital owns NorthStar Ambulance.

In general, there are many factors that affect the decisions about how a patient is transported from Sugarloaf, Johnson said. He gave the condition of the patient as an example of one of the issues looked at by emergency responders.

Poor weather conditions can also prevent a helicopter from reaching the resort, Johnson said.

The drive from Sugarloaf to the hospital in Farmington normally takes about an hour.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]


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