ATV racing accident leaves one teen dead

The feeling of traveling at high speeds, whether in a car, on a motorcycle or in another open-air vehicle, can be appealing and thrilling to many, especially youths who are just beginning their driving careers. However, speed can be dangerous, as any wrongful death attorney knows, even in an organized setting, such as a race on a track, where accidents can happen at any time.

A 15-year-old boy was recently killed in a tragic ATV accident. The boy was participating in an ATV race at the Bedford County Dirt Drags, when he lost control of the ATV, hit a barrier and flipped the vehicle. He was thrown from the ATV and hit a pole. Medics were unable to treat him at the scene of the accident.

If someone is killed due to the negligence of another person, the immediate family of the victim may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. A finding of negligence requires that the responsible party owe a duty of care to the victim, and that they failed in meeting that level of care. Whether a person owes a duty of care depends on the circumstances of the incident. For instance, where a fatal accident happens on the premises of another person, courts would look into the legal status of the visitor and whether the visitor was invited or trespassing, as well as the nature of the visit.

According to the sponsor of the race, this was the first death in 28 years of racing at this track, and this boy had participated in the races the previous year as well. The races at this track include participants as young as five, up to seniors. Police are investigating the accident.

Source:, "15-year-old driver dies in a Bedford racetrack crash," Mary Niederberger, May 19, 2013

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