WAYNE TOWNSHIP, O.H. – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating an ATV crash in Ashtabula county Saturday afternoon that injured the 18-year-old driver and killed the seven-year-old rider.
According to investigators, Ronald Atwater III and the child were riding the ATV along Gane Road in Wayne Township when they went off the road, into a ditch and hit a metal culvert.
Highway Patrol says Atwater was taken to a local hospital and then life-flighted for additional treatment. The seven year old was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Traci Fraback lives near the location of the accident. “We drove through it. We stopped to see if there was anything we could do and the one man said that they had already called 911. And I looked over and I could see a man in the ditch. It looked like he was in the culvert and we had heard somebody yell out’ ‘help, help!’,” Fraback said.
Regina Consla also lives in the area and says ATVs speeding up and down the back roads is a common occurrence.
“For the most part yeah, you have a lot of kids flying down this road like teenagers and stuff,” Consla said.
The State Highway Patrol is still investigating exactly what caused the ATV to go off the road, but they say neither rider was wearing a helmet.
“That’s sad, I mean everybody should wear a helmet, motorcycle, ATV what not, be safe,” said Consla.
Troopers say it is state law that anyone under the age of 18 riding an ATV wear a helmet. They also recommend that adults also take all safety precautions available.