In 2010 alone, there were 590 reported deaths related to ATV accidents. That same year, it is estimated that nearly 115,000 people were treated in United States emergency rooms due to ATV-related injuries. These accidents are caused by a number of factors, including inexperience, speed, and most commonly, riding on paved roads alongside motor vehicles. ATVs are not intended to be used on the roadway. It is on paved roads that most fatal ATV accidents occur.
Nearly one year ago, sixteen-year-old Ryan Mullens was killed in a tragic ATV crash along Howe Road in Whitefield, Maine. According to local police, the ATV never should have been on the road in the first place. Ryan had been driving behind his friend’s vehicle, when he attempted to pass his friend’s car. During this maneuver, the ATV collided with the vehicle, causing Ryan to be thrown from the ATV. He later died of his injuries.
His friend, the female teenage driver of the vehicle, was never charged by police or cited for any criminal activity. Nevertheless, Ryan’s mother is filing a civil lawsuit to seek wrongful death damages. His mother, Stacey Savage, is represented by attorney Jason Jabar.
According to WGME News, if awarded damages, Ryan’s mother hopes to use part of the money to create a foundation in her son’s name. Because civil lawsuits require fault to be found only by a preponderance of the evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt, the fact that no criminal charges were filed is not dispositive regarding liability in the civil suit.