The parents of a 15-year-old girl, who was killed while riding an all-terrain vehicle on a Florida ranch, are suing the ranching family with a claim of wrongful death, according to a news report in the Orlando Sentinel.
Taylor Rae Bronson, also 15, was driving the ATV on the ranch on Nov. 29 when she lost control of the vehicle and her passenger, Analisa DelSonno, was thrown off the vehicle. Analisa died as a result of her injuries, the newspaper reported.
The suit, filed last week in circuit court in Kissimmee, Florida, asks for damages in excess of $15,000 as a result of the “negligence and carelessness of the defendants which resulted in the death of Analisa DelSonno.”
Also, neither girl was wearing a helmet. The lawsuit claims that Robert Bronson was negligent because he failed to properly supervise his daughter as she was driving the ATV.
Incidents of serious injuries and fatalities are becoming all too common especially when it comes to children. It is my opinion that children and even teenagers should not be allowed to operate an all-terrain vehicle. If a teenager is not a licensed driver, he or she should not be able to drive a powerful vehicle that can travel at a high rate of speeds – sometimes over 70 mph.
Parents must remember that ATVs are not toys. They are powerful machines that must not be taken lightly. If your child is below 16 years of age and he or she must ride an ATV, they should not be able to do that without appropriate adult supervision. We have seen that accidents happen even when there is supervision.
We have represented numerous victims of ten driver accidents and we’ve found that drivers less than sixteen, who pilot motorized vehicles have a significantly higher risk of injury compared to experienced drivers, which is why a training course is an effective tool in preventing ATV-related injuries. Death, serious bodily injury, and property damage can all result from an ATV related accident.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident of any type, ATV, motorcycle, watercraft, automobile, bicycle, truck or aircraft, call me. We can help.
Although I do not condone young children piloting motor vehicles, here are some useful tips that I found on the Web site of Irvine-based ATV Safety Institute (www.atvsafety.org):
* Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
* Never ride on public roads – another vehicle could hit you.
* Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
* Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle
* Ride an ATV that’s right for your age. The guidelines are:
a. Age 6 and older – Under 70cc
b. Age 12 and older – 70cc to 90cc
c. Age 16 and older – Over 90cc
* Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs in untrained, inexperienced or competent hands is a recipe for disaster.