According to an accident report from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office; On Saturday, April 15th shortly after 4pm, Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to 3004 South Fairway Road, for a UTV accident with entrapment.

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Credit: Jo Daviess County Sheriff / Canva / Getty Images

Upon arrival it was discovered a UTV being operated by a juvenile with another juvenile passenger on private property had rolled over after striking a stump. Both Juveniles were thrown from the UTV and the operator was pinned underneath.

The operator was transported by Stockton EMS to Freeport Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries and was later pronounced deceased due to those injuries. This accident remains under investigation by the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office.

When operating a UTV, there are several important safety tips to keep in mind.

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Never stand up or allow passengers to stand while the UTV is in motion
  • Keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times
  • Never operate a UTV on public roads
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious of obstacles
  • Avoid operating the UTV in wet or muddy conditions
  • Take breaks frequently and do not exceed the recommended hours of operation

These safety tips can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience when driving a UTV. Although, not all UTV/ATVs offer all of the above safety features, and it's important to be fully versed in operational steps before riding.

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Recently, ATVs and UTVs have increasingly been allowed on public roads. According to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), deaths from ATV/UTV accidents can be seen below.

Credit: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Credit: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Additionally, according to this data set, just 2% of fatally injured ATV riders wore helmets in 2020.

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