Fatal ATV accidents across southern West Virginia spark safety conversation

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BRAMWELL, WV (WVNS) – Tragedy struck several local counties this weekend where accidents involving four wheelers turned deadly.

In Wyoming County, troopers were called to an accident on Crony Road in Kopperston on Saturday, May 23, 2020. A side-by-side hit a bridge and overturned, killing a girl and injuring another man.

In Mercer County, a man is facing DUI charges after his jeep hit a UTV head-on on Crane Creek Road near Montcalm Sunday afternoon, killing the driver and seriously injuring his wife. Investigating officers told 59News the couple just got married.

Pocahontas ATV Resort Manager, Melinda Boothe, knew the victim from Sunday. After seeing record numbers of visitor traffic at her resort alone and local roads along the Hatfield McCoy Trail systems. she is talking critical safety precautions for people driving all vehicles.

“When you’re pulling out of the trail system and onto a paved road…always make sure you completely stop, get out of your machine if you have to, and look and listen cause you can hear cars around here before you can see them,” Boothe said.

Boothe told 59 News a move that often gets people in trouble is a “look back.”

“By that, I mean turning behind you to see if your buddy is there, because when you do that your hands can go with you and it can end up taking you over a bank,” Boothe added.

Be sure to strap in, drive the speed limit and wear helmets, because they save hundreds of lives.

“A lot of people say ‘I don’t like the helmets they’re too hot and uncomfortable’…well a coffin is hot and uncomfortable too,” Boothe explained.

But what can help the most is respectfully riding alongside each other.

“You do have to realize that these roads are shared,” Boothe said. “There are Harleys, side-by-sides, UTVs, ATVs, and that’s such a big economic growth for this area we all need to accept the change and move forward and share the road.”

Boothe said there are also hand signals ATV drivers can use to let other traffic know how many people are in the vehicle.

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