Lauderdale County, Miss. A tragic accident in Lauderdale County claimed the life of a teenage boy Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says 13-year-old Sam Johnson could not get a four-wheeler to work properly, so his friends decided to help him tow the ATV to have it repaired.
Johnson rode on the four-wheeler behind their Jeep down Causeyville Road. But when the Jeep towing him slowed to avoid a pickup truck on a narrow roadway, his four-wheeler kept rolling forward and swerved into oncoming traffic.
"They kind of met there in the roadway," Calhoun explains. "The four-wheeler that was being towed came over into the southbound lane striking the driver's side of the vehicle."
The pickup truck's driver was also injured in the collision, but the impact was too great for Johnson.
Coroner Clayton Cobler says his exact cause of death was head trauma. Johnson was carried to Rush Hospital for treatment, but the coroner says his injury was so severe, he likely died quickly after impact.
"With that great of a force of impact, the skull was fractured," he says. "It caused immediate brain damage and it was immediate death. He never knew what happened to him. I'm not even sure if he ever saw the truck coming."
Calhoun says one takeaway from this tragedy is the importance of exercising extreme caution with all-terrain vehicles.
"Have proper training, have proper training, understand exactly how that vehicle operates, keeping that vehicle off the roadway," he says. "They're not designed to be driven or ridden on roads."