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ATV park owner defends safety of facility

Posted September 17, 2008

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— Despite four deaths since 2004 and numerous emergency calls, the owner of an all-terrain vehicle park in Wayne County is defending the facility’s safety.

Busco Beach, located just outside of Goldsboro, has been open since 1992. On weekends, the facility attracts hundreds and sometimes thousands of ATV and dirt-bike riders. A national ATV magazine recently referred to the park as an ATV rider’s paradise.

“I think it's a very safe place. You see families come here with one, two, three and four kids – all of them ride,” owner Jack Bennette said.

Bennette said safety is a priority at the park, which strictly enforces state helmet laws. Off-duty deputies and emergency services workers often patrol the park, he said. The park is also used as a training ground for many local emergency workers,

More than 500,000 people were injured on ATVs between 2003 and 2006, according to government statistics. About 2,600 ATV-related deaths were reported during that time.

During that same period, North Carolina had 100 ATV deaths – the eighth highest total.

At Busco Beach, four people have died in ATV accidents since June 2004. The most recent death was this past weekend.

”It’s devastating to me personally and to this facility,” Bennette said.

A 54-year-old man, who was riding ATVs with his family, flipped his vehicle and died.

“He, to some degree, lost control (and) came up on top of this berm,” Bennette said.

Wayne County Emergency Medical Services Manager Blair Tyndall said paramedics frequent Busco Beach. Since January, EMS has had 46 call-outs with about half of those calls going to the hospital, he said.

“It's a high volume to one address, certainly. (But) for that number of people in one spot, that's what I would consider a below-average call volume,” Tyndall said.

Local emergency officials do not cite any major safety problems at the park.

“There is a lot more here than tragedy, I can assure you,” Bennette said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Arkansas Razorback Sep 18, 2008

    Oh, and I totally agree that anyone that rides there should be over 18/21. Buscoe Beach is not for children. They get pretty wild out there after dark. Despite popular belief, children just don't belong everywhere.

  • Arkansas Razorback Sep 18, 2008

    I work at one of the local motorcycle ATV dealerships. In my opinion most of the unfortunate accidents that happen there are due to the negligence of the riders. The soldier that was killed there earlier this year had been drinking all day. He was told to slow it down prior to his fatal accident. Unfortunately I do not think they will ever be able to avoid people drinking out there. They monitor the situation as much as possible, but it would be impossible to catch everyone.

  • Its me again Sep 18, 2008

    Why can't we all just understand,WE are a nation of wimps now.WE can't do anything for ourselves.WE want good all Uncle Sam to protect us.O and when we call on Him to protect us we don't want him to hurt anyone.SO JUST GIVE UP! and SUBMIT!

  • familyfour Sep 18, 2008

    EZ - checked out the pics. My opinion and comment remain the same. Love the helmet enforcement. Some had none, and many that did weren't even buckled. Party on people. Party on.

    If that is the environment that is encouraged, it should be limited to 21 and up. And, signs posted everwhere, party at your own risk.

  • EZeegoing Sep 18, 2008


    Copy/paste that to your browser, pictures speak for themselves. Check out the top row, far right pic.

  • familyfour Sep 18, 2008

    I am sure that if the alcohol consumption was forbidden at Busco, a lot of this would clear itsself up. People have died there because of drinking and driving. Little girls have been molested/raped. Drug addicts live there in campers. Clean it up and see what happens. I wouldn't carry my kids to Busco beach if I was paid to. But that's my personal opinion. Busco is well known around here for its "party" environment.

  • La_Grange_Dude Sep 18, 2008

    How many people have died on the streets of Goldsboro or Wayne county in the past 4 years? Maybe we need to close down Goldsboro and Wayne county while we are at it. It is probaly safe to say that while sad, these 4 deaths probaly did something to contribute to their on end.

  • EZeegoing Sep 18, 2008

    Alcohol and gasoline do not mix, not on the highway and not off road. I just did a search on YouTube and their forum videos/pictures and you see beer bottles in riders hands, along the trails and in camp sites. In order for Busco to be a safe place for all to ride no alcohol should be allowed on their property.

  • afairlane500 Sep 18, 2008

    Busco is awesome, leave the place alone. Like others said, its one of the few places where its legal to ride and I don't want to see it go away. A few gas stations and restaurants would also shut down if the park went away. Know your limits and don't be stupid when riding.

  • WhatIsTheDrama Sep 18, 2008

    At 36, I am new to riding an ATV. My husband & I bought a pair of them and ride regularly at Busco Beach. I know what my abilities are and how dangerous these machines can be if you don't respect the fact that you can get hurt. Several people at Busco ride carefully and within their limits. I've seen the patrols and watched as people were escorted off the park who choose to break the rules. Busco is a safe place, people must use their best judgement when riding...