On April 14, 2010, five girls, ranging in age from 5 to 9 years old, were seriously injured in a single ATV crash. The girls were riding on a private ranch in a rural residential community 40 miles West of Cedar City. Police are investigating into negligence charges against the guardians of the children, the owner of the private ranch, and the owner of the all-terrain vehicle.
What Caused this Tragic ATV Accident?
Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower stated that a 9-year-old was driving the Yamaha Rhino ATV with four other young girls as passengers. None of the young children were wearing helmets or were wearing the available safety belts. The group was traveling at excessive speeds when they hit a tree. 5-year-old, Avalon Carlisle was thrown off the ATV and sustained serious head trauma when she hit the roll bar. She was flown by Life Flight to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. The other three victims suffered minor injuries.
Who is Responsible for the Children?
There are several major liability issues to be addressed according to the Iron County Sheriff’s office.
• Children too young do be driving an ATV unsupervised
• Too many passengers for a 9-year-old driver
• None of the girls were wearing the required safety helmets or seat belts
• Delayed medical treatment
Liability Still Under Investigation
A major problem in this accident, according to Officer Gower, is that the parents of the injured girls had initially taken the girls to private homes instead of seeking the much needed medical treatment. All five girls were eventually taken to Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City after deputies tracked them down. Medical doctors then had Life Flight transport Avalon Carlisle to Primary Children’s and they admitted another child into the Valley View Medical Center. The other three girls were treated for their injuries at Valley View and are back home.
Iron County Police Department is adamant the young girls should not have been riding on their own. Sheriff Gower stated in a Salt Lake Tribune interview, “It was negligent and charges could be filed against whoever allowed them to continue riding.”
Learn Utah ATV Laws Before You Ride• Children ages 8-15 can only operate an ATV on public lands after completing the Know Before You Can Go safety course
• ATV operators 16 years of age and older must have a valid driver license
• ATV operators under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets
To learn more about Utah law regarding ATV accidents and to complete the safety course click on the following links:
If you or a family member has been injured in an ATV accident caused by the negligent decisions of another, you are well advised to contact a skilled Utah personal injury attorney. Bodily injury claims quickly become overwhelming with pressure from insurance companies, mounting medical bills and Under Utah ATV laws, passengers of ATV accidents are able to make personal injury claims in accidents such as the tragic ATV accident that occurred last Wednesday in Cedar City.
Contact the Christensen Law Firm at 801.506.0800 to schedule a FREE no obligation consultation with an experienced Utah ATV accident and personal injury attorney. Learn about your legal rights and protections before you make any decisions.