Markus V. Whitherspoon, 20, suffered severe injuries after he was ejected from a 2004 Yamaha Prohauler ATV in Valley Lake Ranchos on Oct. 17, 2008, The Madera Tribune reports. The ATV was being driven by a 17-year-old boy and was registered to Greg Weeks of Madera.
California Highway Patrol officials said several ATVs were being driven to a local store or restaurant when the 10/17/08 accident occurred near Road 30 and Avenue 20 ½. Whitherspoon was taken to an area hospital with major internal head injuries. Racing all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and quads is apparently a popular sport in the Valley Lake Ranchos area.
This incident could have been a lot worse. I’m relieved that Markus Whitherspoon is recovering and I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
California is among the states that has a high number of ATV accident related deaths. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s dedicated ATV safety Web site, there were a total of 312 ATV accident related deaths reported in California between 2003 and 2006. Nationwide, 555 ATV accident fatalities were reported in 2006 and about 146,000 people were treated in the country’s emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries. The number of ATV accidents and injuries has risen dramatically between 2000 and 2006. In 2000, there were 92,000 injuries, compared to 146,000 in 2006. That is approximately a 59 percent increase over those six years.
The family of Markus Whitherspoon should certainly consult an experienced California ATV accident attorney who will look into what caused this accident. Although the Yamaha Prohauler ATV is not among the list of recently recalled all-terrain vehicles, it’s important to look into whether this accident was caused because of an inherent design defect or product defect. Whitherspoon’s family should ask that the ATV be preserved in its current condition so that it can be examined for evidence of defects or malfunction.