Father killed, son injured in ATV accident on the 4th of July

Alcohol may have been a factor.
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A father and son were involved in a deadly ATV accident in northern Minnesota on the 4th of July.

The Becker County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened just after midnight on South Elbow Lake Road in Round Lake Township.

Anthony Robert Ortiz Sr., 47, of Soap Lake, Washington, was driving a side by side ATV that also carried his 21-year-old son, Anthony Robert Ortiz Jr., and another man who the sheriff's office did not identify.

Ortiz Sr. lost control and rolled the vehicle, which landed on top of him, the release says. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His son was airlifted to Essentia Hospital in Fargo for his injuries.

The sheriff's office says Ortiz Jr.'s current condition is unknown, and the third man involved in the accident denied any medical attention.

Alcohol may have been a factor in the crash. Authorities are still investigating.

ATV fatalities in Minnesota

Eighteen people died in ATV and off-highway motorcycle (OHM) crashes last year, according to the Minnesota DNR. Alcohol was determined to be a factor in four of them.

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 in Minnesota (including some fatalities), 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.

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