A 29-year-old father of five was killed Monday night when he stopped to help a driver who ran out of gas on a Zephyrhills highway.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man was on a 1998 Suzuki ATV trying to tow a Ford Ranger pickup truck when a semi-truck caused the fatal accident on U.S. 301 around 10:30 p.m.
As the man moved into the left turn lane to execute a left turn onto Central Avenue, the tow strap connecting the vehicles stretched across U.S. 301. The semi traveling south on U.S. 301 then ran into the strap, causing the ATV to eject the man and overturn.
Troopers believe the person inside the Ranger made it to the gas statio, pumped gas and drove off.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 45-year-old St. Petersburg man, was not injured.
Investigators are asking for anyone with information regarding the crash to contact the FHP at 813-631-4020.
ATVs have a high center of gravity and a narrow wheelbase, which places riders at an increased risk of a rollover accident. These vehicles weigh up to a quarter of a ton and are able to reach top speeds of 100+ miles per hour. With that said, ATVs can cause serious injuries when they do overturn. Common ATV rider and passenger injuries include:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Loss of Limbs