Snowmobiler airlifted after crash

Muddy conditions make rescue challenging, according to officials

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra  A man was airlifted to a regional hospital Monday evening after sustaining severe injuries in a snowmobile accident at the crossing of the Boone River and Des Moines River north of Stratford.

STRATFORD — A man was airlifted Monday evening with injuries he sustained in a snowmobile accident at the convergence of the Boone and Des Moines rivers near Stratford.

The man was with two friends who were not involved in the accident.

He was not identified by press time.

“It was a challenge getting back to him because it was basically on the river,” Stratford Fire Chief Dan Ostrem said. “We had to use four-wheel drives and ATVs to get down to the access to him and then eventually we figured out that he was injured severely enough that he needed a helicopter — that the ambulance wasn’t going to be enough.”

First responders were called to the scene at 4:52 p.m. Monday. The accident took place just north of the Boone River bridge on Shiloh Road near the Boone Forks Wildlife Management Area.

First responders on scene at an accident at the convergence of the Boone and Des Moines rivers were transported to the river’s edge via truck over the muddy fields.

Muddy conditions prevented easy access to the accident scene. One of the man’s companions assisted first responders by taking them from a road to the injured man across a field.

“He had two friends with him. One went to get the truck and the other one stayed with him and got help. Then that individual helped shuttle EMTs down until we could coordinate getting people down in there, so he was very helpful too,” Ostrem said.

Medical personnel from Van Diest Medical Center in Webster City grabbed equipment out of the ambulance they arrived in and were transported across the field in a truck because they were unable to drive the ambulance across the field.

The helicopter landed shortly before 5:45 p.m.

“We landed the helicopter out there on the far end of the field just on the edge of the riverbank,” Ostrem said. “We shuttled a bunch of guys out there in the four-wheel-drive trucks and they carried him up the hill and got him into the helicopter.”

Ostrem described the man’s injuries as severe.

The UnityPoint Health Lifeflight helicopter transported the injured man to an undisclosed hospital.

Stratford Fire and Rescue, the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Dayton Police, Van Diest Medical Center, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene.