A Westbrook woman seriously injured in a snowmobile crash Sunday in Thorndike Township remained in a Bangor hospital Tuesday with multiple broken bones, according to her husband.

David Clarke, who suffered a fractured ankle in the crash, said in a phone interview Tuesday that his wife, Laurie, has multiple fractured vertebrae in her back as well as four broken ribs, a broken clavicle and a fractured wrist. She was fitted for a body cast Tuesday, he said.

“She’s been in excruciating pain,” he said.

The Clarkes, both 45, were traveling southwest on Interconnected Trail System 88 about 10 miles northeast of Jackman in Somerset County when the crash occurred at 5 p.m. Sunday. They were driving separate snowmobiles on a straight stretch of trail and Laurie Clarke was behind her husband, according to Maine game Warden Kim Bates who responded to the scene. When David Clarke tried to turn right, his wife’s snowmobile crashed into the side of his and she was ejected from her machine and landed under his snowmobile, Bates said.

Laurie Clarke was taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, and David was taken to C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville. He then was transferred to EMMC where he underwent surgery on his ankle Monday morning, he said. He has since been released from EMMC, but remains there to support his wife.

“My wife’s too fragile to move,” he said. “I don’t know how long she will be here. They had said we would be here a couple of weeks.”


He said that Easter Sunday was a beautiful day, and the couple had snowmobiled from Jackman to Rockwood and then south to Greenville where they had lunch and then headed back to Jackman. They had never seen a moose before, and on that day they followed a moose for about 50 yards, he said. The crash occurred as they were driving straight into a blinding sun, he said.

“The day was almost over, and most of that day, we didn’t have cell phone reception,” he said. “At that spot, we had reception. At that point, I had four bars, thanks to God. A sign was there, telling me exactly where we were, and I called 911.”

“It’s terrible what happened to my wife, but the paths to get us to safety were amazingly all there.”

He said they are grateful to emergency crews, including Jackman-Moose River Fire Department and Jackman Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps workers, who were professional, caring and supportive.

“We have a long road ahead of us, but my wife was able to sit up today and there’s no paralysis,” he said.

He added that the couple have a great support system of family and friends.


Bill Jarvis, fire chief for Jackman-Moose River Fire Department, said seven firefighters, one of whom is an emergency medical technician with the ambulance corps., were at the scene, as well as two other EMTs and a driver from the ambulance corps. The trail sign Clarke referred to is a rescue location sign, according to Jarvis.

“By Clarke giving the specific location information, we knew exactly where he was located,” he said. “ The (Somerset County Communications) dispatcher has a list of all of the rescue locations and their respective coordinates, so the dispatcher was able to quickly provide the coordinates to Lifeflight.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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