Jones County teens injured after ATV flipped into ditch
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two teens injured when an ATV they were riding flipped into a ditch have been released from the hospital.
Jones County Fire Rescue said the 15- and 16-year-old boys were riding the all-terrain vehicle Friday around 8:30 p.m. on Loftin Road when it hit a tree stump and flipped into a ditch. Calhoun Fire Chief Lee Garick said the teens were pinned under the ATV.
Garrick was the first emergency responder on scene. When he arrived, he said passerby's had already lifted the ATV off the teens.
"They were both laid in a ditch, where they had run off the road, struck a stump and appeared to roll the ATV over end over end," said Garick. "They were both conscious, they were both scared."
Jones County Fire Rescue said one of the teenagers sustained severe injuries, while the other sustained moderate injuries. Garick said from what he saw, there were minor abrasions and internal injuries. Both were transported by EMServ ambulance to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel for treatment. Both teens were released from the hospital Saturday morning.
Garick said neither of the teens were wearing a helmet or any kind of safety equipment. He said they were also on a paved road, which is illegal in Mississippi.
"Neither of the occupants were wearing helmets, and that's something I want to stress today is the importance of safety equipment," Garick said.
According to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, more than 100,000 people are injured by ATVs each year. Of those injured, one in four of them is under sixteen.
If you have an ATV at home, this is what you need to know how to stay safe:
- Do not drive ATVs on paved roads.
- Do not allow a child under 16 to drive or ride an adult ATV.
- Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Take a hands-on safety training course.
Those rules and regulations are something Garick said many people in the community do not take seriously.
"They say, 'Oh well that doesn't apply to me,'" said Garick. "It does apply to you, otherwise you end up, upside down in a ditch with an ATV on top of you."
Hattiesburg Cycles hosted an open house Saturday, during what General Manager William Moore said is the busiest time of the year. Moore said they take federal regulations and safety very seriously when making any sale.
"When people come in, if they tell us they are buying a four-wheeler with someone under the recommended age, we are required to shut down the sale and that's what we do," said Moore.
There are multiple warning fliers, stickers and signs on all ATVs and four-wheelers in Hattiesburg Cycles. Those warnings to remind buys that ATVs are not toys.
"The machines are big, they are powerful and a lot of times, if a child gets into a panic situation, they don't know what to do," said Moore. "It is fun and we want to keep it fun, but you also have to be responsible and a lot of times people forget that."
The ATV Safety Institute offers a variety of training courses and instructional videos online. You can check out the ATV Safety Institute E-Course here.