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September 09. 2013 6:28PM

Keene woman seriously injured in Sunday ATV accident

KEENE — A woman’s foot was nearly severed at the ankle in an off-road ATV crash Sunday afternoon.

Jennifer Daniels, 42, of Keene was taken to Cheshire Medical Center before being moved by a medical helicopter to UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., in an attempt to save her nearly amputated foot, Keene police Sgt. Jason Short said Monday.

“It was a severe compound fracture,” he said.

It took about two hours from the initial call for help from a cell phone at 2:34 p.m. to when Daniels was brought out of the woods by emergency responders.

The rescue could have taken longer if firefighters had not had a specialized rescue vehicle to bring her out of the woods, said acting Fire Chief Mark Howard on Monday. Even then it was a 30-minute ride out of the woods, he said.

The driver of the ATV was Kelly Raynes, 42, of Keene, Short said. She suffered minor scrapes and bruises in the crash, Howard said.

It took firefighters about an hour to find the women after they reported the crash at 2:34 p.m., Howard said.

“It was almost an hour before the first crew made contact with the patient,” he said.

About 30 minute after making contact, rescue workers transported Daniels out of the woods, which took another 30 minutes, Howard said.

During those two hours, 18 responders from Keene, Swanzey and Diluzio Ambulance were actively searching, treating and then transporting Daniels, Howard said.

Swanzey and Marlborough fire personnel staffed the Keene fire house during the response.

“Basically we had all hands working on that incident,” Howard said.

The rescuers had entered the woods at a trailhead off Drummer Road at Elm Street, Howard said.

But once in the woods rescuers had difficulty finding the two women, since there was not optimum cell coverage to track the cell signal and the Drummer Hill/Goose Pond wooded area has several trails.

“Some parts of it are fairly remote and to some extent there are so many trails that aren’t well marked that people lose track of where they are. That was part of the problem,” Howard said.

“It was chaotic. There are so many paths to get there,” Short said.

The ATV had overturned onto Daniels as it was going up a steep embankment.

“They hit a rock or something that pushed them back and all their momentum pushed them back,” Short said.

Howard said the women were fortunate they were together, that both were not incapacitated and that they had a cell phone.

Unlike snowmobile trails, these trails are not maintained by the state so the public should generally use caution when using them, he added.

“The rescue crews reported that it was a very steep embankment, even though people probably do it all the time there was a risk something was going to happen and it did happen. They were fortunate to have a cell phone,” Howard said.

Short said because the accident took place off road, police are in the process of filing a report with the Fish and Game Department, which would investigate the accident if they deemed an inquiry necessary.

mpierce@newstote.com


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