Snowboarder Wescott unhurt after car-moose crash

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott had a rude return to his home state early Thursday morning, but emerged from a car-moose collision uninjured.

Two time Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott (left) hands a jacket to Elizabeth Barrett (center) and her daughter Kelley of Bowdinham after signing it during his homecoming celebration from the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010. Wescott was uninjured Thursday after hitting a moose while driving near Rangeley, Maine. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)

According to Lt. David Rackliffe of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Wescott, the winner of Olympic snowboard cross competitions in 2006 and 2010, was at the wheel of his 2002 Volkswagen Eurovan on Route 16 in Dallas Plantation when it struck the moose shortly after 1 a.m.

“It did roughly $3,000 to $4,000 worth of damage,” Rackliffe said. “It appears that the moose actually ran into him.”

Rackliffe said the moose ran into the woods after running into the passenger side of the Eurovan. Wescott was uninjured and was able to drive the vehicle the rest of the way to his home in Carrabassett Valley, Rackliffe said.

Wescott lamented the crash in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday.

“Welcome home to Maine. Now here is a moose in your windshield to mess up your night,” Wescott wrote. “Home safe but it looks like the Eurovan is gonna have an insurance vacation at the VW garage. Damn it.”

Rackliffe said Wescott’s accident continues a busy summer of car-moose crashes in Franklin County.

“We actually did a couple of press releases on that [situation earlier this summer],” Rackliffe said. “From mid-June through mid-July, between us and state police who cover northern Franklin County, we documented more than 22 car-moose crashes in that roughly 30-day period.”

While there are plenty of moose in western Maine, Rackliffe termed the rash of crashes “extraordinarily high.”

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John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.