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An 18-year-old man died earlier this month in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Conoy Township in rural Pennsylvania, according to a news report posted on LancasterOnLine.

The man, whom police did not identify, was a passenger on the back of a Honda ATV driven by his 18-year-old male friend prior to the accident, according to police officials.

The driver was seriously injured in the crash, police said. The teenagers were riding on the victim’s property when the ATV ran into “what appeared to be a big groundhog hole.”

The riders were knocked off the ATV and the teenager who died was thrown into a wire fence, the article said. The teenager died after his neck became entangled in the wire. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the ATV was taken to Hershey Medical Center, Roberts said, and was in stable condition according to the most recent report available. Excessive speed did not appear to be a factor in the crash, officials said. An investigation is ongoing, but officials don’t expect the driver of the ATV to face any charges.

It has always been my assertion that ATVs must be ridden with a lot of care. Yes, in they can be toys, but powerful vehicles that can reach speeds of up to 70 miles an hour need to be taken seriously. Children must absolutely not be allowed to drive them although several brands claim that they are made for kids. Teenagers who are allowed to drive ATVs must be well trained, familiar with their terrain and use good judgment at all times.

This one seems to have been not only unfortuante but some what of a mystery. The news article did not provide enough information for me to determine the possible causes for the ATV accident. Was it speed, lack of safety gear, vehicle malfunction, unfamiliar terrain, inexpereinced driver, I just don’t have an idea from the information provided.

Here are some ATV safety tips from a group called Injury Free Coalition for Kids
* Attend an ATV driver’s safety course, wear protective gear.
* Never use a 3-wheeler. They are unsafe and no longer manufactured.
* Ride an age-appropriate ATV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no one under 16 years of age ride a full size ATV.
* Provide constant supervision when children are operating an ATV.
* Never carry passengers. ATVs are designed for one person.
* Do not use ATVs on the streets or at night.
* Never operate an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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