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Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 08/ 6/2010

Sterling teen dies in dirt bike accident

By Washington Post editors

A 17-year-old Sterling teen was killed Thursday night after the dirt bike he was riding struck the gates at the entrance to closed baseball fields, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Danny Steve Somoza was riding a 2006 Baja 4970 Dirtrunner bike at Claude Moore Park in Sterling about 9:45 p.m. with a group of friends when he failed to see that the gates at the entrance had been closed, police said. He struck the gates and was ejected from the dirt bike.

Kraig Troxell, public information officer for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, said that one of Somoza's friends called 911 to report the accident.

"He was ahead of the rest of his friends on his bike, and he was not wearing a helmet," Troxell said, adding that Somoza's companions were also riding dirt bikes. Virginia law requires the use of a helmet on a dirt bike, Troxell said.

Somoza was taken to the Lansdowne Campus of INOVA Loudoun Hospital, where he died.

It was the second fatal accident to occur at the park in recent weeks. Six-year-old Eric Lawson, also of Sterling, was killed after being struck by a tree limb that fell during a powerful thunderstorm on July 25.

--Caitlin Gibson

By Washington Post editors  | August 6, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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