TEENAGER KILLED IN ATV ACCIDENT

A 14-year-old girl was recently killed in an ATV accident in Burlington County. Aisha Lopez, of Vineland, New Jersey, was driving an ATV on a private dirt road when she collided with another rider, 27-year-old Jose Rentas. Lopez and Rentas were both airlifted to Atlanticare Regional Medical Facility from the scene of the accident in Washington Township. Lopez was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital. Rentas remains in critical condition, and has been transferred to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. Two other children were involved in the crash, but not seriously. 

A surprising number of children are killed or injured in ATV accidents each year, especially in the height of summer. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, in 2012, over 100,000 people were injured in ATV accidents such that they required treatment in an emergency room, with approximately 25% of those children under age 16. The average number of deaths related to ATV accidents each year was 712, with 144 of those being kids under 16. In order to enjoy ATV riding safely, riders and parents of child riders should always follow certain guidelines:

  • Children should never ride an adult-sized ATV. ATVs designed for adults are often difficult for less skilled, weaker children to steer, and are not intended for use by those under 16 years of age. ATVs designed for children are smaller, and have speed limiters that will prevent the child from driving the ATV at a speed she can't control. ATVs will indicate on a label the age range for which they are designed.
  • Never drive an ATV on paved roads. ATVs are intended for off-road use only, and are prone to overturning on paved roads.
  • Do not ride as a passenger, or allow a passenger to ride with you, on an ATV.
  • Wear protective gear, such as helmets, eyewear, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants while riding an ATV.
  • Make sure you know safety basics, such as by taking a safety driving course, before riding an ATV.

If you or your child has been injured in an ATV accident, the loss can feel devastating, and the expenses can be overwhelming. If you believe that another individual may be responsible to some degree for your or your child's injuries, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to ensure that you're fully compensated for your losses. Contact the skilled Morristown personal injury lawyers at Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your claims at 973-292-0016.

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