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Frederick Co. 4-year-old dies in ATV accident

Frederick County detectives continue to investigate the death Sunday of a 4-year-old boy injured when he was pinned in creek water beneath an overturned ATV he had been riding on his family's property in the 6700 block of Burkittsville Road.

The preliminary investigation indicates the child was riding alone on a Polaris 50cc ATV when the accident occurred about 7 p.m. Saturday, said sheriff's officer spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Bailey.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 22, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Mary Pat Flaherty , Maryland  
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who in their right mind lets a 4-yr-old drive an ATV???

Posted by: aka583 | March 22, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

who in their right mind lets a 4-yr-old drive an ATV???

Posted by: checkered1 | March 22, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

While I have sympathy for the family, a four-year old has no business whatsoever on an ATV, especially not DRIVING it! Is this child endangerment? If not, it certainly should be. The common sense must have been nonexistent.

Posted by: 78vette | March 22, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I hate that we have to share the world with idiots.
We should always error on the side of being over-protective of our kids.

Posted by: millineumman | March 22, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I mean who let's a 4 year old who doesn't even know how to tie his shoes ride a ATV by his self? The parents should be charged with capital murder and then ran over by an ATV.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | March 22, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

To the above comments - if you do not know the situation please refrain from writing that the parents are idiots or that they should be tried with capitol murder. The parents are going through enough heartbreak right now and blaming themselves. They do not need heartless indiviuals giving advice or proclaiming words that they seem to know without knowing what happened! Sit back and think if this was you, how would you feel, and what would others say about you.

Posted by: rachelpillow | March 22, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

To the above comments - if you do not know the situation please refrain from writing that the parents are idiots or that they should be tried with capitol murder.


I'm not sure how much more of the situation one would need to "know" in order to deduce that the parents acted irresponsibly. At no point should a 4 y/o be riding an ATV, let alone by himself. Yes, it's tragic that a little boy lost his life. But I don't think it's "heartless" to point out the obvious. Ill-timed, at best...The parents SHOULD feel devastated because THEIR poor judgement cost their son his life.

Posted by: MsAyesha22 | March 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

a 4 year old riding an atv is not that bad. they ride in cars from infancy. they take pony rides. they swim in pools. they ride bicycles. they play on monkey bars, swing on swings and many other "dangerous" things. he could have drowned in a minute or two. very sad, but not a clear case of parental fault.

Posted by: good1 | March 22, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Deduce What? Do you feel that this was on purpose? Have you thought that maybe in a blink of an eye an accident can happen? And what is being pointed out? Not the obvious. You read what's being covered in the media. At no point was there anything saying that the parents let their 4 year old ride unsupervised. And once again, one should get the true facts before slandering. Just an FYI - NO PARENT has SUPER POWERS !

Posted by: rachelpillow | March 22, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Just because an act isn't purposeful doesn't make it any less negligent. If you have a 4 y/o who knows how to operate an ATV, it is your responsibility to ensure he doesn't have access to an ATV without supervision. So what I deduce is either they let him ride the ATV alone or the child was out of their sight long enough to get on the ATV and ride away. I'm not saying the parents should be strung up by their toes, or even saying they were (are) bad parents, but they are responsible for their children and in someway or another they dropped the ball; accidental or not.

Posted by: MsAyesha22 | March 22, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Things are different in the country. Children do things like this. I got my first motorcycle at age 6 (which I helped pay for) I was riding around on horses at a much younger age. And yes, I took a few tumbles. We used to ride around in the back of pick up trucks and play on hay wagons. How much more or less dangerous is it to take a kid out on the beltway on Saturday night, or drive around like a idiot in an oversized suv?

Posted by: good1 | March 22, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

what parents in ther right mind lets a 4 yr old ride that thing by himself-i bet they feel just like fools-he is just a baby-some serious action needs to be takened-i wouldn't even let my grandchild ride his bike alone at 4-bless his lil heart-he is singing with the angels

Posted by: MSTYLER49 | March 22, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The parents are complete morons and are negligent in their child's unfortunate death. I hate when people in rural areas try to excuse very dangerous activities that they let their children engage in. A four year old doesn't have the innate knowledge to get a key to an ATV, get on it and ride by themselves. They've obviously been taught before. At four years of age I was learning to ride a bicycle. I turned out okay.

Posted by: jabreal00 | March 22, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The debate over whether children should ride ATVs--which are designed for children as young as 6--is one that could take place without the nastiness and cruelty shown by some in their comments. Children do ride ATVs in the country, and they also ride horses -- which can also cause dangerous accidents. Children in the suburbs ride bicycles, which can also lead to fatal accidents. And anyone who has ever cared for a young child knows how quickly they can dart away from you when your attention wavers even momentarily. My sympathies and prayers go out to this family, and I hope those who are so quick to condemn will never have a child accidentally badly injured and have to bear the weight of the tragedy while fending off the blame of strangers hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.

Posted by: dcteacher3 | March 23, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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