Lake George-area not among those with serious, fatal snowmobile crashes this year

March 11, 2019 06:41 PM

LAKE GEORGE - Greg Dunn has been busy this winter.

"We've been out a lot. There's been a significant presence of patrol on the trails," said Dunn, a veteran Warren County Sheriff's Office snowmobile patrol officer and safety instructor.


He hasn't been called to any serious or fatal crashes this season, even though there have been 18 snowmobile-related fatalities elsewhere in the state this season, including several in Fulton County.

"We're lucky. We're very fortunate," Dunn said.

Nick Lamando agrees. "We've just been very lucky here,"

Lamando is a trail groomer and board member of the South Warren Snowmobile Club. He's been snowmobiling for more than 45 years and often sleds in the Old Forge-area -- which has seen eight fatalities this season, three just last weekend, including a woman from Saratoga Springs who crashed into a dock while driving on a frozen lake late at night.

"Everybody's having too much fun. People are maybe not using common sense," said Lamando, who agrees with Dunn that speed is almost always to blame. They both say alcohol is too often a factor.

"You've heard of the term 'beer muscles?' People get them, unfortunately," said Dunn.

Dunn says people don't realize just how powerful their 500-pound sleds are.

"In order for you to get the same power-to-weight ratio in your pick-up truck that you drive every day, it would need to have over a 2,000 horsepower motor."

Lamando says trails are safer than lakes because they're marked.

Frozen water offers hazards, like ice heaves, that can't be seen until it's too late.

Patrol Officer Dunn urges people to take a snowmobile safety course, even though it's not required for adults. He also reminds riders to have respect for their sled's power.

"If you're not afraid of your snowmobile, you should park it," he said.


Mark Mulholland

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