Woman injured in 4-wheeler accident
By Robin Scott
An accident involving a woman riding a 4-wheeler occurred off of CR33 on Thursday, May 28th. The accident occurred just before dusk. The woman and others had been riding for several hours when the accident occurred.
An adult female was flipped from the 4-wheeler she was riding. Initially, her injuries appeared severe as she lay motionless awaiting the arrival of EMS. On the scene were Paramedic DeNisa Brown, Dalhart Fire Chief Curtis Brown, Officer Eloy Duran and Det. Paul Rowell with the Dalhart Police Department and Deputy Penny Loudder with the Hartley County Sheriff’s Office. A second woman was also involved in the accident but did not require medical treatment.
The injured woman was transported to Coon Memorial Hospital ER, treated for injuries and later released. Officer Duran noted, “They had been riding out here for quite awhile, and she probably just got comfortable and it got away from her.” Officer Duran also stated that no citations were issued following the 4-wheeler accident.
4-wheelers are all terrain vehicles, ATV’s. An ATV is defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control. ATV’s are designed to handle a wider variety of terrain than most other vehicles. ATV’s are not considered “street legal” in most states. ANSI’s definition states that ATV’s are intended for use by a single operator. The rider sits on and operates these vehicles like a motorcycle, but the extra wheels give more stability at slower speeds.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “The number of four-wheel ATVs in use in the United States has increased from just over 2 million to more than 6.9 million over the past decade. From 1982 through 2004, there were nearly 6,500 deaths involving ATVs. In 2004 alone, an estimated 136,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV related injuries, many life altering. In 2003, an estimated 740 people died nationwide in ATV incidents. About 30 percent of all deaths and injuries involve children younger than 16.”
All terrain vehicles, such as 4-wheelers, are not for authorized use on public streets and roadways in Dalhart. The accident occurred out in the field used by many riding 4-wheelers and was not on a public street or roadway. Before riding an ATV on public property, riders are required to register the ATV for off-highway use, place a registration decal on the ATV handlebar, and complete a required ATV safety course. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), promotes ATV safety on its website and urges ATV drivers to learn the Texas ATV laws, complete the required ATV training course, wear safety gear and pay attention to where the vehicle is operated.
For more information on the legal and safe operation of ATV’s visit www.txdps.texas.state.us.