Local News

10-Year-Old Boy Dead, Another Injured After ATV Accident

Posted October 17, 2005 5:24 a.m. EDT

— A child's birthday celebration ended in tragedy Sunday morning after a 10-year-old boy died and an 11-year-old was seriously injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident.

Johnston County authorities said the boys were both riding the ATV on a path close to one of the boys' home at

659 Chisenhall Road

, near Angier, when it hit a dip and flipped. According to investigators, neither child was wearing a helmet, despite a warning label on the vehicle.

The vehicle also warned that no one under the age of 14 should operate the vehicle, said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

The injured child's parents, however, were supervising their son and his friend. It was in a brief moment when the couple went inside that the accident occurred.

"They heard a cry out, ran back out the house and the accident just occurred," Bizzell said. "Both boys were laying on the ground after the four-wheeler had flipped and ejected them from it."

The injured child was taken to the hospital with a broken collarbone.

In August, Gov. Mike Easley signed a law tightening the state's restrictions on ATV use. Under the law, children under 8 years old cannot operate an ATV; children between 8 and 15 years old must take a safety course and have adult supervision. People using ATVs for hunting or farming, however, are exempt from the law.

The law takes effect Dec. 1.