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Boy, 13, killed in ATV accident

October 02, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 13-year-old Martinsburg boy was killed Tuesday when his four-wheeler ran off Jacobs Road and hit a utility pole head-on, state police said.

Another 13-year-old boy, from Hedgesville, W.Va., was taken by ambulance to City Hospital then airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, said West Virginia State Trooper R.J. Elswick. That boy's condition could not be obtained.

Neither boy was wearing a helmet, Elswick said. He would not release their names because they are juveniles.

The boy killed, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was driving the four-wheeler, Elswick said. The other boy was sitting behind him, he said.

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Nobody witnessed the accident, Elswick said.

The accident happened just before 4 p.m. on a long, straight stretch of the road, Elswick said. Both boys were thrown from the four-wheeler, he said.

Elswick said he has not been able to determine how fast the boys were going; no skid marks were present. The utility pole, which was about 4 feet off the road, broke in half, he said.

Elswick said he had not spoken to the boy who was flown to Virginia because medics rushed him to the hospital before he arrived.

This was the second fatal accident involving teens and an ATV in two days in West Virginia. Monday night, a 13-year-old girl died and a 14-year-old girl was injured after their ATV went off the side of a road near Morgantown, W.Va., and struck a tree, ejecting both girls.

Neither girl was wearing a helmet, said Senior Trooper J.P. Branham III of the West Virginia State Police.

West Virginia has the nation's highest per-capita ATV-related death rate and is one of a few states that has failed to regulate their use. Several proposals have failed to pass the Legislature over the past five years.

According to The Associated Press, the Martinsburg boy's death was the 17th ATV death in the state this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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