ATV Crash Claims Two Lives
It happened about noon on Friday on Cedar Creek Lane, just southwest of Ashland. The sheriff's department said the driver, Aaron Morefield, 17, hit a tree head-on and died at the scene.
Friends said Morefield often cruised the quiet roads on his 4-wheeler because that's how a lot of teenagers get around the neighborhood. But, law officers also said ATVs are how many kids get hurt.
"ATVs are meant to ride off roadways," explained Boone County Deputy Brian Leer, "and you specifically run into problems when somebody rides it on a roadway."
From 1982-2004, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported almost 6,500 ATV deaths, including 133 in Missouri. Another 136,000 were injured nationwide in 2004.
Columbia's Pro Cycle shop encourages ATV users to wear helmets and use instructional videos. But employees said there's only so much they can do.
"If you're not careful, things can jump out and get you at any time," said James Scoggin. "You never know, even when you are careful, stuff happens."
The Boone County Sheriff's Department said deputies found a helmet at the crash scene, but it's not clear who was wearing it. Missouri law requires riders under 18 to wear helmets and drivers under 16 to be supervised, but the law applies only to ATVs on public property. Missouri does not have ATV training or licensing requirements.