ATV Fun Turns Tragic in New Jersey
An estimated 54 people have died as a result of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) related accidents in the State of New Jersey between the years of 1982 and 2005. Collection of statistics and analysis of ATV related deaths has not yet been completed for the last three years.
On Monday afternoon, July 30, 2007, the life of a 15 year old girl from Hammonton, NJ, was added to that pending analysis. According to an anonymous source from the New Jersey State Park Police, the teenage girl was operating an ATV along a New Jersey Transit high speed rail line along with eight of her friends, en route to a Winslow Township section of Wharton State Forest that is popular among off road vehicle riders.
When the riders reached the state forest, they had to cross the railroad track to enter it. As the riders crossed, one of the ATVs became stuck on the track. Several of the friends, including the 15 year old Hammonton girl, stopped to help free the ATV from the tracks. As they did so, a New Jersey Transit High Speed, Atlantic City to Philadelphia, train quickly appeared from around a blind bend in the tracks and struck the ATV. No one was on the ATV and the group of friends were able to step away from the tracks. But the ATV was thrown from the tracks by the force of the train colliding with it, striking the girl and killing her.
Operation of All Terrain Vehicles on New Jersey Transit property and all land under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forests is prohibited by law.
The Winslow Township Municipal Police and the State Park Police initially responded to the scene. The investigation was turned over to the New Jersey Transit Police.
Source of statistics: