In February of this year, in two separate accidents within minutes of each other at a recreation area in California, two people were killed while riding in Yamaha Rhino ATVs. Despite wearing her seatbelt, 26-year-old Stephanie Ann Katin was partially ejected from a rented Yamaha Rhino that was being driven by her husband. She suffered fatal head injuries as a result of the rollover. Her husband was not injured. The seatbelt restraint did nothing to help restrain Katin during the rollover accident. A mere 90 minutes later, a 14-year-old boy was killed at the same recreation area after he was ejected from a Yamaha Rhino in which he was a passenger. The roll cage of the ATV landed on top of him resulting in massive head injuries. In June, 2007, a Texas couple lost their nine-year-old son in a Yamaha Rhino ATV accident. The ATV in which the young boy was riding rolled over while going only 15 mph, pinning the boy underneath it.
Dwight Grimes lived on a small ranch in central California. On his first use of the Rhino, the ATV rolled over on him and crushed his leg during a simple low speed turn. Dwight was alone and miles away from his home with his badly fractured leg. Ultimately, he had to endure eight major surgeries to correct his injuries. David will have a badly disfigured leg and considerable pain for the rest of his life.
The effects of Yamaha Rhino ATV rollover accidents have been devastating, leaving adults and numerous children severely injured, permanently disfigured, and even dead. Rollover accidents often pin victims beneath the vehicle, which can break bones, crush limbs, and damage vital organs. In some cases, victims are killed instantly due to the vehicle slamming down on top of them. Adding to the severity of these injuries is the fact that many of the locations where these vehicles are driven are far removed from immediate medical attention.
Yamaha designed the Rhinos to be narrow and top-heavy. In addition, Yamaha selected small tires for it. These design features make the Rhino very unstable and unusually prone to roll over. Rollovers occur even when the terrain is flat and the driver is turning at low speeds. Until Yamaha addresses its defective design of these unstable ATVs, the deaths and injuries will continue to mount. Our firm is handling these cases. If you need additional information, contact Mike Andrews or Dana Taunton at 800-898-2034.
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