Experts warn about ATV safety after fatal crash

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Doctors say “trauma season” is kicking off in Indiana. As the weather warms up, they see more and more accidents, many involving children and ATVs.

“We affectionately refer to summer time as trauma season. It doesn’t seem like you should have a season like a sport, for an event like that,” said Dr. Jennifer Wathall, the division chief for emergency medicine at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

Thursday night, 11-year-old Cameron Briot was riding an ATV in Bartholomew County near Tellman Road and County Road 200 West. Briot came out of a field and onto the road, colliding with an oncoming motorcycle. Lt. Kraig Weisner with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department said the child died on the scene. Weisner also said most of the trauma was to Briot’s head, and the boy was not wearing a helmet.

Experts say proper safety gear and equipment is the most important factor in ATV safety.

“Everybody should wear a helmet. That’s specifically made for riding an ATV. So everyone should have gloves on, everyone should have goggles on. If you can have boots and heavy, fully covered clothing on, then that’s really the best, said Wathall.

Wathall says many experts also recommend children do not ride an ATV until they have their driver’s license.

“Riding a large vehicle that’s motorized as a kid, has a lot of risks associated with it. And we see these children with multiple, different types of injury throughout the spring and summer,” said Wathall.

Wathall also says riders should never ride double, or on paved roads. Riding on paved roads is illegal in many Indiana counties.

“They’re competing with other traffic. The likelihood of being hit by another car while on a paved road, and having an injury that’s severe, gets higher,” said Wathall.

Briot was a fifth grader at Southside Elementary School. Larry Parkinson with the Bartholomew County Consolidated Schools said teachers describe him as a “ball of energy” and had nothing but kind things to say.

Counselors were available for students at the school Friday morning.

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