6 people injured, 1 killed in ATV crashes on Saturday

They all happened in Cass County.

Six people were injured and a man was killed in four separate ATV crashes in Cass County on Saturday.

In the fatal incident, which happened at 10:42 p.m. in rural Pequot Lakes, the driver and two passengers were going down a driveway when the ATV left the driveway and hit a tree. All three people were ejected, according to the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

The driver, 42-year-old Steve Verville of Pequot Lakes was pronounced dead at the scene. The passengers, a 51-year-old man from Breezy Point and a 46-year-old man from Cross Lake, were taken to a Brainerd hospital.

Earlier Saturday, two people were injured in incidents on the ATV trail in the Foot Hills State Forest in rural Backus a few hours apart.

The fist was just after noon, a 57-year-old man from Arizona lost control and overturned. The man was pinned underneath the ATV, and was eventually extracted and taken to a Twin Cities hospital.

In the second incident at the state forest, which happened around 4:30 p.m., a 22-year-old man from Marshall was on the ATV trail when he lost control and fell off. He was taken to a Brainerd-area hospital.

And in the fourth incident in Cass County on Saturday, two people were injured in an ATV crash just before 6 p.m. in Remer Township. A 56-year-old man from St. Michael and a 54-year-old woman from Clearwater lost control of the ATV. It rolled "several times" and hit a mailbox, injuring both riders.

They were both taken to the Deer River Hospital, but the female was then flown to a hospital in Duluth.

ATV fatalities in Minnesota

Eighteen people died in ATV and off-highway motorcycle (OHM) crashes last year, according to the Minnesota DNR. Of those, 13 fatalities involved people riding Class I ATVs, three were Class II ATVs, and two were riding off-highway motorcycles.

In most of these incidents, the person who died was involved in a rollover or was thrown from the vehicle.

From 2003-2016, there were 3,922 ATV crashes (including fatalities) in Minnesota, DNR statistics show. Of those, St. Louis County saw the most incidents, totaling 397, followed by Itasca County with 177, and Cass County with 166 crashes.

The DNR recommends safety training for anyone riding an off-highway vehicle, and notes safety training is required for ATV riders who are born after July 1, 1987, and OHM riders under the age of 16. For more information on off-highway vehicle safety, click here.

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