Even when safety precautions are taken, riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) comes with risks.
“Somebody can be wearing all of the safety gear and that still doesn’t prevent a fatality,” says Comox Valley ATV Club president Tony Stetner, as he offers an example.
“You and I could both go down the same street on a motorcycle and I could hit it one way and be mildly injured, and you hit it just a little bit differently and you could lose your life.”
According to the BC Coroners Service and the RCMP, Courtenay man Lee Raymond Hamilton, 20, died Saturday when his ATV went off the Trent River Main logging road. He was wearing an approved helmet and face shield.
Hamilton was following friends on dirt bikes, according to a BC Coroners Service news release.
“When the friends with whom he had been riding realized he was no longer with them, they went to look for him, and found that the ATV had left the road and crashed into trees,” states the release. “Mr. Hamilton died at the scene.”
Stetner says Trent River Main is not considered a dangerous road by ATV users.
“The Trent River Main, I mean they’re rougher roads than like a car-type gravel road but generally it’s a pretty decent road. It wasn’t really a gnarly spot or anything,” he said. “It’s a main logging road and, I mean, big trucks, small trucks, cars, anything can go up and down that part of the road.”
Hamilton was not a member of the Comox Valley ATV Club, but Stetner said the club was sad to hear of the young rider’s passing.
“Comox Valley ATV Club offers our condolences to the family and friends of the young man who lost his life while quadding this past weekend,” said Stetner. “We all understand the risks associated with our sport, and try to mitigate the risks accordingly.”
Stetner also pointed out people take risks every day, such as when they get into a car to go to the grocery store.
“We balance risks with benefits every day of our lives,” he said. “And I mean, there’s risks to some sports, but I guess a lot of us look at that and say, ‘Well, here’s the risk and here’s the enjoyment; I like the enjoyment, I’m willing to take the risk.’ “
Stetner added the Comox Valley ATV Club promotes safe and responsible use of ATVs and it can direct interested riders to an approved safety course. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or the Quad Riders ATV Association of British Columbia at email@example.com.