An ATV travelling at a high speed veered into oncoming traffic and suffered a head-on collision with a car Monday afternoon, injuring three and killing one.
The collision killed 21-year-old Chris Munday, the passenger of the ATV, while authorities took the driver, 29-year-old Kenneth Niblett, to Baltimore’s shock trauma unit in critical condition. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the circumstances of the crash, but says the ATV crossed over the line separating lanes when it struck the oncoming car, reports Fox 5.
The occupants of the car, a 45-year-old mom and her 12-year-old son, were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Witnesses reported seeing beer cans littering the stretch of Michael Mill Road in Fredrick County where the accident unfolded, but would not comment on if it related to the crash. (VIDEO: ATV Rider Taunts Police, Speeds Recklessly Down Maryland Highway)
The D.C. metropolitan area is currently cracking down on illegal off-road vehicles on public roadways. Police have orders to stand down when an ATV is seen on a roadway in order to avoid deadly chases. Four witnesses of Monday’s crash said a park ranger, possibly from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, was pursuing the ATV in a high-speed chase when the accident occurred, according to WJLA.
“The Park Ranger was right on the ATV’s butt, at a very high rate of speed,” an anonymous witness told WJLA. “He had a siren, but it isn’t as loud as a police siren and he had his lights in the back, they were flashing too. I feel the Park Ranger was entirely too close and I knew there was going to be an accident. I knew it.”
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said it can’t comment on the ongoing investigation, however a representative of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department told WJLA DNR “was not directly involved in the collision” and did not witness the crash. (RELATED: DC Police Crack Down On Illegal ATVs On City Streets)
The laws banning ATV and dirt bike use on roadways are being regularly ignored throughout the D.C. metropolitan area by gangs who police say intentionally attract attention in an attempt to start a chase with police.
“Here in Frederick County, we do see a lot of ATVs on the roadway,” Bart Ruppenthal, a police corporal with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, told Fox 5. “We receive a lot of complaints about the riding of ATVs on the road illegally, riding on other people’s property, illegally trespassing, causing damage.”
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