New Hampshire

Whiteout Conditions Contribute to Snowmobile Collision on Squam Lake

Two men were taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment following the crash in Holderness, New Hampshire, officials said.


Several people were snowmobiling in a group on Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire, when whiteout conditions factored into a collision that sent two men to the hospital.

According to the NH Fish and Game department, crews responded to the lake around 12:45 a.m. Sunday and found two people had been ejected from their snowmobiles, resulting in head injuries and temporary loss of consciousness.

Jon Wardwell, 56, of Sandwich, NH, and Richard Sampson, 58, of Ashland, NH, were approximately a half mile from the snowmobile trail that exits the lake by Golden Pond General Store when Sampson's snowmobile's drive belt suddenly broke, causing a quick deceleration.

Wardwell was a short distance behind Sampson and collided with the rear of Sampson’s snowmobile, officials said, throwing both men off their snowmobiles.

A third snowmobiler in the group witnessed the collision and immediately called 911 for assistance. Wardwell was taken to Concord Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Sampson refused medical care on scene but then his wife took him to Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth for further evaluation, officials said.

It was snowing heavily with frequent gusts of wind causing whiteout conditions at the time of the crash, and that appears to be the cause of the collision, according to officials. No other information was available.

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