Tragedy struck the Westbrook family during their Easter camping trip on Monday, April 5, 2010. 11-year-old Zachary Westbrook of Price, Utah, was killed in an All-Terrain-Vehicle (ATV) accident when the ATV he and his cousin were riding on rolled over in a wash. Although both boys were wearing their helmets, Zachary was pinned under the ATV. KSL News reports that the accident occurred in the Mounds area of Emery County. Carbon County ambulance and police transported the young boy to Castleview hospital where Zachary was pronounced dead. Fortunately, his cousin was not injured in this fatal Utah ATV accident.
I offer my deepest condolences to Zachary’s mother Shauntel Westbrook and their family for their sudden and tragic loss. Zachary, an only child, was an outgoing and friendly fifth grader at Creekview Elementary. There is no doubt that he will be greatly missed.
Kids and ATV Accidents
- 1/3 of all ATV related deaths are children under the age of 16
- ATV’s seriously injury 40,000 children each year
- Between 2000-2004, medical costs for injuries sustained in ATV accident increased by 196%
Out of 33 most popular and dangerous sports (including football, wrestling, skiing, snowboarding and skateboarding) ATV riding has the highest risk of hospitalizations for children. In fact, according to ATVsafetynet.org, the risk of serious injury when riding an ATV is 61% greater than football, the second most dangerous sport for kids. The rising trend of injury and deaths to Utah children has caused many to reevaluate whether kids who are not licensed to drive a car should not be allowed to operate off-road vehicles. Some legislative officers are considering whether or not to push for state law that would prohibit young children from operating or riding on ATVs. Others argue that ATV riding is a family fun activity that should not be banned by the government. Instead they advocate that families take extra safety precautions when engaging in the sport. The common goal remains: How do we avoid these accidents and injuries?