St. John Valley

Madawaska man loses hand in logging accident

MADAWASKA, Maine — A Madawaska man was flown via Life Flight to Boston on Tuesday following a logging accident that resulted him a hand amputation.


Around 11:10 a.m., emergency services were made aware of an accident that occurred at the Madtown Logging plant in St. David. Sgt. Garrett Albert of the Madawaska Police Department saw the first ambulance take off from the safety complex while conducting a session on distracted driving.

Albert was informed through officer Sam Dechaine that there was an accident at the logging facility which resulted in the man losing his hand. Madawaska Ambulance personnel rushed the victim to Northern Maine Medical Center. 

Around 11:40 a.m., a second ambulance and fire emergency response were called to the scene to retrieve the severed hand, according to Albert. 

The responders were not sure right away how to remove the hand from the wood splitter machine without causing further damage, Albert said. After studying the situation, Albert used a Halligan bar, or a heavy-duty crowbar, to pry the log free and release the hand. 

A member from the ambulance department rode with Albert to the hospital, reasoning that it would be faster than taking the ambulance. 

Shortly after Albert and the ambulance crew member arrived with the appendage, the victim was flown to Boston, where he underwent surgery to attempt to reattach his hand. Details were not immediately available on whether those attempts were successful.

Albert said that it was good multi-departmental teamwork and added that “had it not been for the response of all three departments and the collaborative effort the extremity would not have been salvageable.” 

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