December 13, 2017

MDIFW NEWS - - Fatal snowmobile incident near Rockwood

A missing North Carolina man was found dead early this morning by authorities. Willard L. Hartsock, 55, from Old Fort, NC, has died in a snowmobile related incident near Rockwood. Hartsock had been staying at a rental property on Lake Street in Rockwood. Hartsock had recently purchased a new 2017 Ski-Doo 900 Expedition ACE snowmobile and was seen around the Rockwood area operating the Ski-Doo.

When Hartsock did not return home as expected, his family notified police last evening around 9:00. A game warden and sheriff’s deputy located the residence on Lake Street in Rockwood. There they found Hartsock’s vehicle, snowmobile trailer and various belongings. There was no snowmobile found at the residence. A search ensued on the local snowmobile trails late last evening. Hartsock was located deceased at 1:00 this morning along a portion of Interconnecting Trail System (ITS) 88 in Taunton & Raynham Academy Grant.

The scene indicates that Hartsock approached a wet area on the snowmobile trail, stopped, and placed the snowmobile in reverse. While in reverse, it appears the machine rolled onto Hartsock. The attached photo shows members of the Maine Warden Service Forensic Mapping Team documenting the scene. According to game wardens, there has been very little snow in the Rockwood region and trails have seen very little use to this point. This incident remains under investigation.