Florida girl dies after falling off ATV during July 4th celebration

A 14-year-old girl died Sunday after falling off an ATV near a park in Florida.

Four girls between the ages 12 and 15 were riding on the off-road vehicle on a paved road south of Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City, a suburb of Tampa, around 4 p.m. when the girl fell and sustained serious injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, the girl was taken to the hospital where she died.

The other girls were hurt. Highway Patrol said none of the girls were wearing helmets and the ATV did not have seatbelts and was designed to seat one person.

Florida law states that an ATV operator must wear a helmet and eye protection if under the age of 16.

The incident came on the one-year anniversary of a similar deadly crash in Dade City involving children on an ATV where a 7-year-old boy died and two children and three men were injured after the vehicle flipped.

According to the Consumer Federation of America, the bulk of injuries and deaths involving off-road vehicles occur over July 4th weekend.

“Of the total 64 recorded deaths on July 4th occurring from 2013 through 2020, 16 were children aged 16 or younger comprising one quarter of all deaths. (25%),” the federation said.

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