FARMINGTON — Franklin Memorial Hospital on Monday launched an internal review into an allegation about the medical treatment an ambulance crew gave to a man who died after he skied into a tree at Sugarloaf ski resort Thursday.

The skier’s wife also told a Nova Scotia newspaper that the ambulance crew left her by the side of the road en route to the hospital. Hospital officials said Monday that Dana Morse, the wife of the skier, has yet to make a complaint to them.

The hospital owns NorthStar ambulance, which took David Morse, 41, of Harmony, Nova Scotia, after the accident. He died en route to the hospital shortly after 5 p.m., local police said.

Dana Morse told The Chronicle Herald — a newspaper in Halifax, Nova Scotia — that the ambulance crew didn’t provide proper medical care to her husband. She is a nurse practitioner, according to the newspaper.

Morse said she started the trip to the hospital in the front seat of the ambulance. When she asked to sit in the back of the ambulance with her husband, the driver let her out on the side of the road during a snowstorm and drove away, the newspaper reported.

She said she flagged down a motorist, who drove her back to Sugarloaf’s clinic. The ambulance left her off half a kilometer — or three-tenths of a mile — into the journey, she told the newspaper.

On Monday, Jill Gray, community relations manager for Franklin Memorial Hospital, said the hospital learned of Morse’s allegations through media reports.

“We are only now learning about the press reports related to this situation that came out over the weekend,” Gray said in an email. “Today, we have launched our own internal review of what happened in this very tragic situation. Until we conduct that review, it would be premature for us to respond to the allegations reported by the press.”

Gray said the hospital would not release any other comments Monday about the situation.

Dana Morse did not respond to a request for comment.

Maureen McNamara, Dana Morse’s sister, said Sunday her sister would not comment further and asked that no follow-up calls be made. She did say, however, that the Chronicle Herald accurately reported her sister’s comments.

Ralph Johnson, chief information officer for Franklin Memorial Hospital, said that the hospital has not received a complaint from Dana Morse.

“The wife has not contacted anyone at the hospital to my knowledge,” Johnson said.

Carrabassett Valley Police Chief Scott Nichols is handling the incident report in connection with David Morse’s death, police Lt. Randy Walker said.

Nichols would not be available to comment on the situation until today, Walker said. The police department also acts as the resort’s security force.

When members of Sugarloaf Ski Patrol responded to the accident scene Thursday at 3:43 p.m. amid falling snow, they found Morse conscious and alert, wearing goggles and a helmet. As an intermediate skier, he told them he wasn’t used to skiing on powder, Nichols has 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, Nichols said.

It took ski patrol 12 minutes to get Morse off the mountain and convey him to the Sugarloaf First Aid Clinic near the base lodge, Nichols said.

Paramedics from NorthStar Ambulance took over Morse’s care once he arrived at the clinic, Nichols said.

A spokesman for the state medical examiner’s office said an official cause of death would probably be released this week. The office was closed Monday and no information was available.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]

Staff Writer Erin Rhoda contributed to this report.


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