Lincoln, NE – According to Lancaster County authorities in Nebraska, 13-year-old Emma Kringle died after a tragic accident involving a homemade all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
The girl was playing with her 9-year-old cousin at the time of the accident, around 2:45 pm on Saturday. The two were traversing across their grandparent’s backyard in Lincoln. Statements indicate the girls were wearing helmets at the time, reports ABC News, yet somehow Emma’s ponytail became ensnared in the engine’s clutch lever on the makeshift ATV.
It was assessed Emma lost control of the vehicle when she felt her head being jerked back by her hair. She was thrown and hit by the ATV, resulting in severely fatal head injuries. Family members called 911 and provided aid until help arrived.
Emergency transport, a StarCare helicopter, flew the teenager to a Bryan Campus West medical facility. The doctors there determined the accident had rendered the girl brain dead, coming to the unfortunate conclusion that evening around 7 pm.
Emma was temporarily sustained on life-support so her organs could be donated. She officially passed on Monday.
A relative originally constructed the ATV and it had been kept and used by the family for nearly 20 years. Kringle lived in rural Walton and attended Waverly Middle School.
ATV accident statistics, compiled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and reported on ATV Safety.gov, track the number of fatal and non-fatal injuries that have occurred in three and four-wheel ATV accidents since the early 1980s. The most recent record reflects that in 2011 nearly 100,000 people were treated in the ER and 327 died as a result of riding an ATV.
In the state of Nebraska, 116 people have been fatally injured and died between 1982 and 2011.
Safety advocates recommend wearing proper gear and being trained before going out on an all-terrain vehicle; warning not to operate one while under the influence, in tandem to one another, or on pavement. Additionally, children are not meant to ride on a model designed for an adult.
[Image via Shutterstock]