Over the weekend, two separate off-highway vehicle (OHV) accidents injured five people, three of whom were airlifted to Salt Lake Valley hospitals. According to Rockport State Park Assistant Manager Kevin Taylor, the incidents have become par for the course on busy summer weekends in Summit County.
"We respond on one to two OHV accidents per weekend. It's pretty constant," he said.
Friday night, Summit County dispatch received word of an OHV accident on the Chalk Creek Road near Coalville. A 16-year-old male was taken by LifeFlight to Intermountain Medical Center and the driver, a 15-year-old girl, was driven by a relative to the Park City Medical Center.
Saturday, at about 9:15 p.m., rescuers were called out again to the scene of an OHV accident where a driver had lost control of a Polaris RZR Side-by-Side while traveling downhill on Hoyt's Peak near Marion.
"The Polaris RZR had failed to negotiate the turn ejecting all three occupants," Taylor said, adding that all three victims were injured but conscious and alert.
Rescue personnel from the South Summit Ambulance District, Summit County Search and Rescue and the Sheriff's Dept. responded to assist in transporting the victims down the mountain to a waiting medical helicopter.
According to Taylor, the 44-year-old male complained of a back injury, the 9-year-old boy suffered a broken collarbone and the 12-year old girl had an external head injury.
None of the occupants were wearing helmets or seat restraints and speed may have been a factor in the accident, he added.
"They (OHVs) are fun but they are powerful beyond most people's abilities," Taylor commented.
Basic OHV Laws and Rules:
-Helmet required for riders and passengers under age 18.
-Youth, 8-15 years of age, must possess a OHV education certificate before operating an OHV on public land.
- Ride only on designated routes and areas open to OHVs.
- Ride on the right side of the road and in single file.
- Be alert to oncoming traffic, especially on blind curves or in dips and crests of hills.
-It is illegal to drive an OHV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
-Mufflers with an approved spark arrestor are required on all OHVs.
---Utah State Parks