A 12-year old Arkansas boy was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Sunday while conducting farm chores, Arkansas’ Hope Star reports. The victim, identified in the report as Garrett Malone, was driving a 2005 Polaris 500 ATV on his family’s farm in Guernsey, Arkansas when the accident occurred.
According to the boy’s older brother, Garret left to take out the trash and drove the ATV around a barn located about 75 yards from the family’s home. The brother went to look for Garrett after he failed to return for about half an hour. After the boy found his brother pinned underneath the overturned Polaris, he ran back to the house to tell his father what had happened.
When first responders arrived at the farm about 1 p.m., they found that the boy’s father, Christopher Malone, had lifted the ATV off of his son and was performing CPR on him.
Medics airlifted the boy to Christus St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The staggering number of children who die each year in ATV-related accidents is one of the reasons propelling major changes in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s governance of off-road vehicles. Earlier this month, the CPSC announced that it had found a draft of safety standards proposed by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) “did not adequately address the deaths and injuries associated with ROV rollovers and collisions.”
CPSC Chairman Inez Tenebaum, a staunch child safety advocate, urged all ATV drivers and passengers “to strap on a helmet, use the seat belt, know the terrain, and never allow anyone under 16 to drive these vehicles.”
According to Concerned Families for ATV Safety, more than 40,000 children are seriously injured and killed in ATV accidents every year.