Oneida County Sheriff speaks on snowmobile safety

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ONEIDA COUNTY, NY (WUTR-TV) — There were two reported snowmobile accidents last weekend. Oneida County Sheriff, Robert Maciol, says it was perfect weather for the sport but it all comes down to how well you know your vehicle.

“Snowmobiles today – new ones, they’re coming out of the factory – they’ll do triple digits. They’ll do over 100 MPH alone, a lot of them,” says Maciol.

Maciol stresses the idea of the buddy system. One of the two accidents, the victim was left on the trail for hours until help came. “Yelling for help – a person heard them calling for help she called 9-1-1 while her husband and someone else to look [for the victim]. They found the individual, a helicopter was flown in and he was taken to Syracuse to the hospital. But, my point is I don’t recommend someone out riding alone and if you have to go alone make sure someone else knows what time you’re going to be back so if you don’t return you need to go look,” says Maciol.

Comparing the number of snowmobile accidents to the previous years, Maciol says there hasn’t been an increase this year. “Just practice some basic safety tips and hopefully we can get through the season with no more accidents but it seems like we had a lot but in the grand scheme of things – looking at the season as a whole, it’s pretty average, unfortunately.”

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