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Md. child's ATV riding death ruled accidental drowning

Maryland's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the Saturday death of a Middletown 4-year-old who was riding an ATV an accidental drowning

Fordham Lee Poffenbarger was caught beneath an ATV that overturned and pinned in creek water during a Saturday night ride on his family's property on Burkittsville Road in Frederick County.

The boy wandered unnoticed from a group of children playing and rode the ATV without the knowledge of his parents who began searching for him "within several minutes," said Frederick County Sheriff's spokesperson Corporal Jennifer Bailey.

His parents found him in the creek and administered CPR until emergency medical help arrived.

There is no age restriction on driving an ATV on private property in Maryland, Bailey said.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  March 23, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Mary Pat Flaherty , Maryland , Updates  
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Adult supervision is always a good thing.

That is really sad, though.

Posted by: steampunk | March 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone say child neclect?

Posted by: jckdoors | March 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Right, a four year old child had the wherewithal to hop on an idling ATV or more incredulously grab the keys, unnoticed from a group of other people, ride off and overturn in a creek. That child died horrifically because of neglect. It's that simple. Rural folks, this is the majority of the outcome when a four year old is left to their own devices and allowed to ride motor powered vehicles.

Posted by: jabreal00 | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

First, my condolences to the family who have to endure this nightmare tragedy and then suffer the heartless comments from posters. A four year old imitates what he/she sees. The children today are much more resourceful then we were with our building blocks and hot wheel tracks. They are the wielding cell phones by age 6 and they have websites by age 8. At age 2 they know their food comes from the microwave and age 4, they should have no troule figuring out how a key works. We have to step up our parenting and see the world as our children see it.

This is a very unfortunate accident and we don't have to add to he hell the parents are already experiencing. Long after we move on to the next story, this family will be suffering until the end.

Posted by: Ross65 | March 23, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Shame on you for casting judgement on this family publically and saying child neglect. You are all allowed to think whatever you want but to write it on a blog is another thing. My family is close friends with the Poffenbarger's and we live in the same town. The family and whole town are heartbroken over the loss of Fordham Lee, but as farming community, many young children ride ATV's. It is a terrible loss but instead of casting judgement on the family, say a prayer for them.

Posted by: use2box | March 23, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

It's very sad when people want to make judgements and be so critical when tradegy strikes a family like this. Why not take that effort and pray for God to give them the strength and comfort they need to get through this. You also need to remember he had siblings. I don't know how old they are but how awful would it be for them to read some of these comments about their parents. Think about how your words can be so hurtful to others. Would you want someone to cast judgement on you for something?

Posted by: kamp2 | March 24, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree this is a truly sad event....however I agree also that this equates to child neglect. This was a truly preventable accident....if adults had been supervising this child he would still be here today.And what adult in their right mind thinks its ok for a 4 YEAR OLD to ride an ATV, farming community or not. Parents still need to have common sense and read warning labels. Like they need a license to catch a fish, but anyone can be a parent.I will say prayers for the parents..and the surving siblings

Posted by: jmho | March 24, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

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