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ATV strikes pole, injuring girl, 7

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A 7-year-old was injured after the four-wheeler she was riding struck a utility pole.

Indiana Conservation Officers were called to the accident in the 4500 block of South County Road 537E, just south of State Road 252 near Amity, about 7 p.m. Sunday.

Kirstyn Rauch was riding the vehicle on the road with other children who were riding four-wheelers and go-carts. Rauch turned to look at the other kids and rode off the road and into the pole, according to a police report.

Rauch had a cut on her right cheek and was treated by medics at the scene, Indiana Conservation Officer Jet Quillen said.

Her family later took her to Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin to check for a concussion or any other injuries, where she was treated and released, Quillen said.

Rauch was being supervised by her parents, Christopher Rauch and Amy Boughner, while she was riding the vehicle.

She was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear, according to a police report.

Christopher Rauch told Quillen he was going to get his daughter’s helmet just before the crash occurred, Quillen said.

The girl received the small four-wheeler as a birthday present in March and had some experience riding it, Quillen said.

All-terrain vehicles are not allowed on roads in Johnson County, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

Conservation officers did not write a ticket after the accident and instead used the opportunity to teach the adults about state laws, Quillen said.

Children younger than 14 can legally drive an all-terrain vehicle, such as a four-wheeler or dirt bike, as long as they are supervised by adults, Quillen said.

State law doesn’t require riders to wear a helmet, but conservation officers encourage riders of any age to wear one for safety reasons.

Last year, conservation officers investigated 234 all-terrain vehicle accidents, including 15 fatalities, he said.

“They can be fun, but people need to realize they can be extremely dangerous,” Quillen said.

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