We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how summertime tends to bring with it a rise in the number of motorcyclists on the road. Since the weather is temperate and kids (and many adults) are out of school, the desire to jump on a motorcycle and ride is understandable. But we sometimes forget about another popular outdoor summer activity: riding all-terrain vehicles. Unfortunately, ATVs are like motorcycles: they can injure the riders if these vehicles are involved in an accident.
That’s what happened in Will County last week. On Thursday afternoon around 4:45pm, three teenage girls were riding on the same ATV south of Frankfort. The ATV was traveling north on 88th Avenue when it struck a pickup truck at the intersection of Monee-Manhattan Road, just east of the Green Garden Country Club and Golf Course. The 13-year old girl driving the ATV suffered a collapsed lung, a 15-year old passenger sustained bruises and fractures, and a 16-year old passenger broke her pelvis, her tailbone, and some ribs and also fractured her skull (she had to be put into a medically-induced coma).
From the information given in the news article, it’s unclear who was at fault in the pickup-ATV accident. But it should be noted that according to Illinois law, ATVs are not allowed to be ridden on traditional roadways (unless they are crossing them); meaning that the girls were likely breaking the law simply by being in that intersection. It’s also possible that the ATV was not designed to be ridden by three people.
If future evidence indicates that the pickup truck driver did cause the accident, then the parents of the three teenagers could file personal injury lawsuits against him. But if the blame for the wreck is placed on the 13-year old ATV driver, then the parents of the older teen victims could file those personal injury lawsuits against the 13-year old girl’s parents.