Deadly weekend for ATV’s/UTV’s

By Shari Harris,
Co-Publisher

    Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Troop G reported three ATV/UTV crashes from May 23 through May 26, with two of the crashes resulting in fatalities.
    On May 23, a 2019 Polaris Ranger UTV, driven by Kenneth I. Yarber, 48, of Eminence was travelling southbound on a hillside four miles south of Van Buren in Carter County on private property off Browns Road when it slid downhill and overturned. The exact time of the crash is unknown. The family reported Yarber missing, and he was located on May 25. Yarber was pronounced deceased at 12:45 p.m. on May 25. The UTV sustained minor damage and was removed from the scene by family. The MSHP report indicates no safety device was in use.
    At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, a 2006 Suzuki ATV driven by Toni M. Ates, 63, of Mtn. Grove, was northbound on Kings Road, five miles west of Cabool, when it ran off the left side of the roadway and overturned. Ates sustained moderate injuries and was taken by ambulance to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains. The Suzuki was not damaged and was removed from the scene by owner. The MSHP report indicates no safety device was in use.
    At 6:36 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, the second fatality crash occurred. A 2014 Honda Rancher driven by Colton Ogden, 14, of Licking, was westbound on Pigeon Creek Road, four miles northeast of Licking, when it left the roadway and went through a fence. Ogden was ejected and struck a tree. Ogden was taken by ambulance to TCMH where he was pronounced deceased at 7:51 p.m. The Honda sustained moderate damage and was removed from the scene by family. The report indicates no safety device was in use.
   
Tragic accidents, as proven by these crashes, are not limited to certain age groups. Everyone has the potential to be affected by such a tragedy, and we see an increase in ATV and UTV use in warmer months. The MSHP reminds us that “the only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens,” so be careful everyone.

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