Eight-Year-Old Boy Tragically Killed in ATV Crash In Northern Georgia


April 18, 2017

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that an eight-year-old boy suffered fatal injuries while operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on a poultry farm in northern Georgia. Around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, and emergency rescue personnel were summoned to a poultry farm in Gordon County, which is situated about 65 miles north of Atlanta.

When emergency personnel arrived at the farm, they learned that the boy was riding an ATV that flipped over. The boy was crushed by the vehicle.  Despite first responders' best efforts, the young boy tragically died from his injuries at a local hospital. The first responders extended their sincerest condolences to the family.

This is such a tragic situation, yet, ATV accidents happen with great regularity. Despite the common occurrence of ATV crashes, some of which have made national and international headlines, many parents allow their children to drive them. But, ATVs are not toys and children should not operate them. ATVs' weight ranges from 390 pounds to almost 800 pounds, unloaded. Depending upon the model, they can reach 75 miles per hour. The weight and power of the machines make them difficult to control and maneuver.

ATVs are fairly easy to operate. Most, if not all, have a throttle button which the rider presses with the right hand, usually with the right thumb. The feet control the brakes, although some models use handbrakes like a bicycle. The operator steers by turning the handlebars in the desired direction, making them theoretically easy to operate. Problems arise when riders are inexperienced and lose control, which is very hard to regain once lost. 

Their experience driving motor vehicles help them recognize when the situation is about to get hairy before it happens. Depending on the scenario, the driver might need to use brute strength to maintain control of the ATV. A child simply lacks the experience and upper body strength required to retain control of the ATV. By that time, the machine may bounce uncontrollably or perhaps strikes a hazard such as a tree, a boulder, or another vehicle.

Earlier in 2017, People Magazine ran a story about JamieLynn Spears' eight-year-old daughter losing control of the ATV which she was driving and landed in a pond after losing control. Witnesses who observed the event rushed to help and had a hard time freeing the child from the ATV, as she was seatbelted. First responders soon arrived and extricated the young girl. The child suffered serious injuries in the accident but recovered.

Several other celebrities have suffered serious injuries in ATV crashes. Most notably was rock and roll icon, Ozzy Osborne. He suffered severe injuries, which put him in a coma for a week in 2003. He is not the only one. Seven hundred people die, and over 136,000 people are injured annually riding what the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission calls one of the deadliest products on the market today. There can be little doubt that ATV manufacturers understand the threat to children and adults alike, yet manufacturers continue to roll out these deadly machines.

 https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fspublic/SEA_Report_to_CPSC_Vehicle_Characteristics_Measurements_of_All_Terrain_Vehicles.pdf

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Category: Accident News

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