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Modesto ATV Rollover Accident Claims Teen’s Life

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Seventeen-year-old Justin James Wolff of Modesto died from being thrown off his all-terrain vehicle (ATV) west of Modesto, according to a recent article in The Modesto Bee.

Wolff was riding with his friends in an orchard he was familiar with near Paradise Road when the ATV accident happened. California Highway Patrol officials said Wolff was doing 50 mph on a three-wheeled 1985 Honda ATV on a dirt embankment west of Illinois Avenue in west Modesto. He lost control of the three-wheeler as he jumped from the embankment over an access road. The ATV reportedly rolled over many times and threw Wolff on Illinois’ northbound lane. The teen suffered serious injuries and brain damage and died later at the Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

I offer my deepest condolences to the Wolff family. Please keep this teenage boy in your prayers. According to the article Wolff hadn’t worn his helmet in the ATV crash. In Stanislaus County helmet use is not required on private property. In fact, that is the law in most states and counties across the nation. Hundreds of young people, especially teenagers, are injured, maimed or killed every year in the United States because they don’t wear helmets and other protective gear.

According to a recent study by Dr. Gary Smith of the Children’s Hospital in Ohio, more than 136,000 people nationwide go to emergency rooms each year with ATV-related injuries. Of those, one-third were 16 or younger.

A recent Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) report describes summer as “primetime” for ATV accidents in California and finds that California has the second highest ATV accident deaths. The CPSC also found three-wheeled ATVs present three times the risk of injury compared to four-wheeled ATVs.

ATV manufacturers discontinued the three-wheeled models in the 1980s going with the four-wheel “Quad” design because of numerous accidents. Almost all three-wheeled ATVs have design defects and are extremely dangerous. They’re top heavy and tip over even at slow speeds. These three wheel ATVs are dangerous, especially in the hands of teenager out for some good, clean, exciting fun. However, a ride like that can end in tragedy. . . please keep your kids off of these.

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