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February 07. 2014 1:17PM

Snowmobile crash injures Manchester firefighter


MANCHESTER FIREFIGHTER JAMES KELLY of Hooksett was injured in a snowmobile crash Friday morning in Auburn./Courtesy Auburn Fire Department 

AUBURN – A Manchester firefighter was injured Friday morning when his snowmobile crashed into a tree on the railroad bed known as Rockingham Trail, about an eighth of a mile from Hooksett Road.

Fire Chief Bruce Phillips said Lt. James Kelly of Hooksett was riding with three other Manchester firefighters about 10:30 a.m. when his snowmobile caught the soft shoulder of the groomed trail and crashed into a tree.

Kelly, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown from the machine which was estimated to be traveling at 40 to 45 mph.

Phillips said the Manchester firefighters immediately went to Kelly's aid and helped Auburn firefighters, who arrived with an off-road vehicle, take him off the trail.

"The Manchester firefighters were absolutely great," said Phillips, who retired from the Manchester Fire Department and worked with Kelly. "We had him out of there in less than 10 minutes."

Kelly was taken by ambulance to the Elliot Hospital where the trauma team was activated.

Phillips said Kelly's injuries to his head, shoulder, legs and arms are not life-threatening.

He said Kelly and his fellow firefighters were not doing anything wrong.

"They were just riding," he said. "It was a freak accident."
Kelly has been a Manchester firefighter for 20 years.

Conservation officers from New Hampshire Fish & Game are investigating the crash.


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