ATV death near Paddy's Pond prompts further plea for safe riding

·2 min read
The RCMP is investigating a fatal crash that happened Tuesday morning on the Trans-Canada Highway near Paddy's Pond.  (Ted Dillon/CBC - image credit)
The RCMP is investigating a fatal crash that happened Tuesday morning on the Trans-Canada Highway near Paddy's Pond. (Ted Dillon/CBC - image credit)
Ted Dillon/CBC
Ted Dillon/CBC

The RCMP says it's investigating a fatal crash Tuesday morning between an ATV and a car.

The vehicles collided on the Trans-Canada Highway near Paddy's Pond outside Mount Pearl.

Cpl. Jolene Garland, the RCMP's media relations officer, told CBC News the police force's Holyrood detachment responded to the report of a head-on collision around 7:30 a.m.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, Garland said, adding a collision re-constructionist and the office of the chief medical examiner are involved.

Garland said the crash happened partially on the shoulder of the road.

A 50-year-old man was the driver of the ATV and was wearing a helmet, Garland said, adding that he died at the scene.

The two occupants of the car were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Safety campaign

Tuesday's fatality means six people have now died in ATV crashes in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2021. There were 17 ATV-related deaths in the province in 2020.

On Saturday, one person died in a crash involving a motorcycle and a dirt bike near Peacekeepers Way and Pitts Memorial Drive, part of a spate of deaths on Newfoundland roads over the weekend.

In the last two years the RCMP has ramped up its campaign on ATV safety. It includes covert surveillance to crack down on unsafe driving, speeding, underage drivers, alcohol use and lack of protective equipment.

Ted Dillon/CBC
Ted Dillon/CBC

Garland said there's a lot of support for the campaign, noting many law-abiding ATV operators follow the rules.

"One death is one too many. Certainly this week has been rough for a lot of people, our officers as well," said Garland.

"All terrain vehicles and the highway don't mix. Or roadways. None of that mixes."

Rick Noseworthy, president of the Avalon Trailways Association, has been vocal about the importance of ATV safety. His group has partnered with the RCMP to advocate for safe riding.

Noseworthy told CBC News on Tuesday it's heartbreaking each time a report of an ATV-related death is released, adding they can be prevented.

"You don't have to own an ATV. You don't have to ride it. It's a luxury. It's a great recreational vehicle, it has to be treated with respect," he said.

"Parents need to realize what these machines can do. We've seen a lot of trouble here on the northeast Avalon with ATVs and dirt bikes out of control."

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