PLAINFIELD — State police confirmed the victim in last Saturday’s fatal snowmobile crash in the Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest was Michelle M. Vincent of Pittsfield.
Vincent, a passionate leader in the snowmobiling community who traveled within the country and to Canada to take part in the activity, was 56.
Formerly an advertisement sales executive and designer for the Western Mass Penny Saver who also worked for Yankee Shopper, Vincent’s most recent job was as a consultant of marketing and internet-based advertising and inventory for South Side Sales and Service in North Adams, according to her obituary published Friday.
She was a member and former president of the Kanary Kats Snowmobile Club in Savoy, where she served as a lead event organizer and reported on trail conditions and safety, the announcement said.
Remembered there as someone who lit up rooms with her smile and laugh, Vincent was described as both fiery and caring, and someone who did not shy away from a challenge.
“She loved life’s scenery. Michelle was also fiercely loyal to her family, her pup Lexi, and friends. She loved to visit her parents while in Florida and there, much like the snow, she loved the water, sand and collecting shells on the beach… Her outgoing nature, and love will be missed by all that knew and loved her,” her obituary read.
Vincent died after her snowmobile struck a tree Saturday evening in the Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest, said Plainfield Fire Chief David Alvord. She was leading a group of snowmobilers who had gone out that day to enjoy near-perfect trail conditions.
The incident occurred about one mile into the forest off North Central Street on a trail that in winter is groomed for snowmobiling, the Daily Hampshire Gazette first reported and Alvord confirmed. The paper said the crash remains under investigation and authorities do not suspect foul play.
Due to a lack of cellular service in the area, about 20 minutes passed before first responders were contacted before 6 p.m., according to Alvord. After communication was established, first responders tried to locate the snowmobilers, gaining an idea of their location when they heard someone mention Hell’s Kitchen.
Vincent did not have a pulse when authorities arrived. They began rendering CPR before removing her from the forest on a utility terrain vehicle belonging to the Cummington Fire Department. She was rushed to Cooley Dickinson Hospital by Highland Ambulance, and was pronounced dead at the hospital, Alvord said.
Vincent, a graduate of Wahconah Regional High School and Berkshire Community College, also leaves behind family and friends.
“When you think of Michelle,” her obituary read, “celebrate the good memories you have of her. She would want that. Remember that life is fragile, short and should be lived to the fullest, which she did.”