DNR warns of ATV dangers

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken recovers from severe injuries she suffered in an ATV accident, Indiana officials are urging thrill seekers to use caution while on the trails.

“When it comes down to it, we understand that people like to push the limits a little bit, but we’re asking you to be careful, be safe and be smart,” said Jet Quillen, an officer with the Department of Natural Resources.

Van Dyken was injured Friday evening in her home state of Arizona. She severed her spine.

After her surgery her family said in a statement, “Amy awoke within hours of surgery acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self.”

Quillen says last year, 223 accidents in Indiana involved ATVs. 15 of those accidents were fatal. Those accidents resulted in 226 injuries.

“And many of those injuries are life-changing injuries,” said Quillen. “They’re not bumps and scrapes, they’re injuries that the person is going to be dealing with for the rest of their life.”

Quillen says to better protect yourself, always wear a helmet and other protective gear when operating an ATV.

He also urges riders to not use the vehicles on roads.

“ATVs are not meant to be ridden on the road. They’re not designed for the road, they’re designed for rough terrain. Hence the name All-Terrain Vehicles.

Indiana law requires parents of children under the age of 14 to properly supervise their children while operting ATVs. If parents fail to provide proper supervision they could face negligence charges.

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