Police & Fire

Maine Warden Service responds to fatal snowmobile accident near Rockwood

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ROCKWOOD — A missing North Carolina man was found dead early on the morning of Dec. 13 by authorities. Willard L. Hartsock, 55, from Old Fort, N.C., has died in a snowmobile related incident near Rockwood. Hartsock was staying at a rental property on Lake Street. Hartsock had recently purchased a new 2017 Ski-Doo 900 Expedition ACE snowmobile and was seen around the Rockwood area operating the Ski-Doo.

When Hartsock did not return home as expected, his family notified police at around 9 p.m. the evening before. A game warden and sheriff’s deputy located the Lake Street residence. There they found Hartsock’s vehicle, snowmobile trailer and various belongings. There was no snowmobile found at the residence.

A search then ensued on the local snowmobile trails. Hartsock was located deceased at 1 a.m. along a portion of Interconnecting Trail System (ITS) 88 in Taunton & Raynham Academy Grant.

The scene indicates that Hartsock approached a wet area on the snowmobile trail, stopped and placed the snowmobile in reverse. While in reverse, it appears the machine rolled onto Hartsock.

According to game wardens, there has been very little snow in the Rockwood region and trails have seen minimal use at the time of the accident. The incident remains under investigation.

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