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Take ATV out of gear when parked (Read 3315 times)
SARrider
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Take ATV out of gear when parked
12/11/13 at 11:18:04
 
Just a safety thought.

Our group rode ATVs in Moab over the Thanksgiving Weekend and we had an accident.  We were on trail 15 of the Hook and Ladder trail system, or Cameo Cliffs ride and we had just left the Wilson Arch overlook when it happened.

I think we are all guilty of the circumstances that led up to this crash so I am putting out a reminder to everyone on the forum.  Take your machine out of gear when you stop even if you are leaving it running.

We were negotiating a rock stairs when one of our gals had some difficulty and got scared.  I had her back her ATV in the flat below the stairs and told her to put on the brakes so I could get on the machine and take it up the stairs.  I did not notice the machine was still in reverse.

We all do it, leave the machine in gear when we stop, and in this case it set us up for an injury accident.

She had set the brake and was getting off the ATV on the high side while I was starting to reach for her handlebars to get on from the low side.  In the process of stepping off the machine she kicked the throttle with her knee, and since the machine was moving backwards under her it just increased the pressure on the throttle to full.

Her machine is an 800 so it did it with a bit of authority.  It launched her!  She flew through the air about 10 feet and about 4 feet off the ground before she landed on her side in the rocks and the ATV came to rest against her on downhill side.

Most of you know I do volunteer search and rescue and run with an ambulance crew.  We have an acronym for mechanism of injuryMOI.  The mechanism of injury is a good indicator as to how serious and where the injuries might be...and my brain yelled MOI, MOI, back injury and of course a couple of four letter words while she was gracefully flying towards a steep drop off.

She let out a scream when she hit and I knew we were in trouble. We all had on so many layers of clothes that she had no other injuries other than extreme pain in the lower back, L1-L3 area.  Oh Crap!  She said it was a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale.

We were 14 miles in from the OHV trailhead, and about 6 from the ranches north of Hook and ladder and the visibility was not much more than a thousand feet.  We had been driving in the clouds all day.

For the next two hours while help was coming we kept her warm with heat packs and rocks we heated in a fire.  I have radios on my ATV and I was able to contact Price UHP and get help headed our way.  I also had my stretcher trailer in my transport trailer back at the trail head so we sent a couple of guys to go get it along with a litter in case it was needed.  We were in radio contact with the responding agencies so my SAR gear out of the trailer was just a backup.


We had two helicopters en route to our location and both had to abort due to the extremely poor visibility.  San Juan County SAR and ambulance, County Deputies and Parks Service responded to help us.

San Juan SAR and their ambulance came in and they were very professionalmy hats off to them.  They packaged her in a litter and strapped her in a custom rack on the back bed of a 6 x 6 Ranger.  Nice setupmuch smoother than the little stretcher trailer I carry in my transport trailer.

They took her in to Moab where she was checked out.  She cracked L2 and L3 in a non-critical area but it was and will be extremely painful for her for a while.  She was able to ride home in her own vehicle.

Good less painful lesson for the rest of us:

TAKE THE MACHINE OUT OF GEAR WHEN STOPPED!
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #1 - 12/11/13 at 11:29:36
 
Here are a couple more photos
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #2 - 12/11/13 at 11:30:56
 
And another.  Lust something to think agout...

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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #3 - 12/11/13 at 11:41:16
 
Hmmm.  Wonder what I was thinking about during that typo... Rolling on floor laughing Rolling on floor laughing Rolling on floor laughing
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #4 - 12/11/13 at 13:04:23
 
Yeah Chris that typo kinda took me by surprise. I figured you were going to say "Just something to think about...." but my eyebrows went up in a hurray and I had to do a double take!! What......were you thinking? C'mon spill it! Rolling on floor laughing Rolling on floor laughing

But seriously I hope the lady is going to be OK.  And it is nice you have all that equipment with you for situations like this one.
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #5 - 12/11/13 at 13:05:39
 
Wish I knew...would have been more fun Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #6 - 12/11/13 at 20:25:45
 
Well , now that the "L" word is out there ....

Kinda makes me nervous thinking  about all the times you've been riding behind me .

Just what were you thinking about ? . Roll Eyes

Glad she is going to be okay . I've never been one to put my machine in neutral a lot . But believe me , when you're around , I will from now on !
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #7 - 12/11/13 at 21:18:57
 
I know what SAR was thinking, but my lips are sealed  Smiley

No joking matter, be safe not sorry
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #8 - 12/12/13 at 15:17:15
 
Why in the world were two helicopters en route? Were they both life flight? She should consider herself very lucky the weather turned both away if they were life flight; those bills aren't cheap.  

I'll admit, I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to life flight. No doubt it plays an important role in limited circumstances. I just happen to be a statistic of when the service is abused.

Glad she wasn't injured more severely.  

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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #9 - 12/12/13 at 15:54:23
 
ric03014 wrote on 12/12/13 at 15:17:15:
Why in the world were two helicopters en route? Were they both life flight? She should consider herself very lucky the weather turned both away if they were life flight; those bills aren't cheap.

I'll admit, I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to life flight. No doubt it plays an important role in limited circumstances. I just happen to be a statistic of when the service is abused.

Glad she wasn't injured more severely.



You and me both.  If she got critically hurt on a ride I had proposed for the group it would have been a bit tough.

If I remember right she still works for IHC and I would bet she has good insurance.  At the time of the crash I was thinking about going back out the way we came in and that was technical in places.  The route the deputies and SAR came in was from the north and that was far less technical but it was still rocky and a lot of side to side twists and turns and a good six miles.  Since her pain was a 10 out of ten and since she had had two disc herniations in the same area I was a bit worried.

Price UHP was setting up the helicopter alternatives for me.  I was worried about the approaching darkness so I was just trying to get the quickest alternative to me ASAP.  The first service was out of Grand Junction and they were debating whether to fly so Price requested the one out of Page Arizona.  It took them about 30 minutes to tell me that neither of them were going to be flying so I think I had two helicopters en route for a while.

Yesthe flight costs are way out therealmost to the point of bankrupting youbut what do you do.  As the medical in charge until the local responding agency arrived I was going the route of least pain for the patient and the one most likely to cause any further injury.
 
You cannot imagine how many times I have been in their ships on different rescues.  None where I was the patient thank goodness.   In fact I have on two occasions jumped out the door of one of a Life Flight Helicopters.  And many time we have had the ship come in and hover next to us with a patient and we slide the litter in the hovering ship.  They dont do that kind of stuff anymoretoo much liability.  Once was with full scuba gear during training where we were deploying divers from the helicopter and the second was for a lady with a femur fracture on a steep snow covered slope.   I sank to my hips when I landed in the snow.  I was pretty stuck for a while until I climbed onto my pack and put my snowshoes on.  Good memories!  I have pictures somewhere of us deploying in Scuba gear from the helicopter.
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #10 - 12/12/13 at 16:25:22
 
Makes me think about all the times we have changed riders on a sport machine just pulling in the clutch and holding till the new rider grabs hold of it.  Kinda stupid when you think about it but thats the problem, you don't think about it till something happens.
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #11 - 12/12/13 at 17:27:37
 
I've done that a few times... In reverse, forget you're in reverse, hit the throttle and get completely surprised.

Glad she came out relatively unscathed.
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #12 - 02/11/14 at 20:37:19
 
I am a little late responding to this post, but I wanted to get my two cents in. Yes Life Flight is very expensive, but with the possibility of neck or back injuries, that would have been the best way to transport to avoid possible spinal cord damage. My wife had to be Life Flighted  at the Kanab fun Run last year, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Again she had possible neck injuries along with other serious injuries, and ground transport would have put her at risk of aggravating those injuries. I have great respect for the flight nurses that helped my wife, and appreciate there care and professionalism.
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #13 - 02/12/14 at 09:09:47
 
Nope.  Like you said I really had no choice.  Sure, I had alternatives in place to get her out of there by ground transport if I had too, but given her pain level I really had no choice.

She is going riding with us this weekend and she is doing much better.  Doctors even ok'ed her riding.
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Re: Take ATV out of gear when parked
Reply #14 - 02/12/14 at 18:34:39
 
Glad to hear that she is doing well. My wife is also back on her machine. I thought that she might get scared off, but she really enjoys the riding.
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