Christmas Eve snowmobile accident near Hot Dog Park
December 27, 2016
A snowmobile accident in the Bowen Gulch Protection Area (BGPA) northwest of Grand Lake on the afternoon of Christmas Eve sent local first responders into high gear for a search and rescue operation.
The incident occurred in the BGPA near Hot Dog Park where the F trail meets Hot Dog Park. The accident was the result of two snowmobiles colliding on the trail in what County officials termed a, "slower speed impact."
According to officials from the Grand County Sheriff's Office the accident involved two snowmobiles with each snowmobile carrying two individuals. One snowmobile, driven by 31-year-old Enrico Fabiano with 30-year-old passenger Antonietta Cigognini, was traveling uphill at the time of the incident while the other snowmobile was traveling downhill.
As the two snowmobiles passed each other on the trail going opposite directions their skies clipped, resulting in the crash. The downhill snowmobile went off trail after the initial clipping incident and hit a tree, resulting in injuries to the two parties aboard.
Fabiano attempted to call 911 but initially found he had no cell service. He was eventually able to locate service and placed a call for first responders at around 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon Dec. 24. After making contact with authorities Fabiano and his companion stayed on scene to assist the injured parties. Neither Fabiano nor Cigognini reported injuries from the accident.
Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR), Grand County EMS and the Grand Lake Fire Protection District responded to the call for help. Additionally two helicopters were called into to evacuate the injured parties, one male and one female. The two individuals on the downhill snowmobile that hit the tree were evacuated to St. Anthony's Central Hospital for emergency care via Flight for Life helicopter. First responders we able to get the injured parties evacuated by around 6 p.m.
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The names of the two individuals who were airlifted, and the nature of their injuries, were not available Tuesday morning as of press time.
The BGPA is part of the larger Arapaho National Forest northwest of Grand Lake and butts up against both Rocky Mountain National Park and the Never Summer Wilderness. The area is popular during winter months with snowmobiles because of the extensive networks of trails maintained by the Grand Lake Trailgroomers Association.