A Maine man who broke his leg in a snowmobile accident crawled 2.5 miles down a snowy hill in sub-freezing temperatures for help, officials said.
Experienced snowmobiler Nicholas Brown, 57, of Mexico, Maine, was coming down a hill near the town of Rumford in western Maine about 9 p.m. Friday when he hit some ice going around a turn and lost control of the vehicle. His leg was pulled under the snowmobile and broke as the vehicle careened out of control and slid into some nearby trees.
Brown was left lying injured in the snow. He tried to stand up but couldn’t and was unable to call for help because he did not take his cell phone with him, according to Maine Warden Service officials.
“When I tried to stand I could feel the bone moving in my leg, I could feel that I had a broken bone,” Brown told ABC News. ”I was hoping I wasn’t going to be bleeding, because I f I was I would have had to sit there with a tourniquet and wait for people.”
After confirming he wasn’t bleeding, Brown began to crawl using his elbows and one good leg. He crawled a distance of 1.1 miles to the base of the hill and reached a home shortly after. Unfortunately no one was inside.
Brown then crawled another 1.4 miles down a road, eventually reaching a friend’s home at 3:30 a.m. to call for help.
“The snowmobile trail was a piece of cake,” Brown said. ”The road was all dirt and rock salt. The only way I could do it was on my knees and knuckles. It was real hard on my arms,” he said.
The local police and ambulance service arrived and took Brown to Rumford Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.
Alcohol was not involved in the incident, according to a statement from the Maine Warden Service.
Officials said Brown’s life was in danger.
“It was a complete fracture of his bone, the temperatures were cold, it was probably in the teens,” Maine Warden Service spokesman John MacDonald told ABC News. “The elements and not having someone there to get you out of the woods quickly, those two competing harms certainly made it at least from my experience a life-threatening incident.”
Brown remains modest about the ordeal and said he didn’t think the incident was that big of a deal.
“You just have to keep your wits about you and get out of there,” he said.