Crash kills two Berrien teens, injures another - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crash kills two Berrien teens, injures another

Michael Shane Thompson Michael Shane Thompson
Scarlett Barker Scarlett Barker
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June 28, 2004

Berrien County-- The teens were returning from a day at the Alapaha River when their four wheeler slammed into a tree. They were all thrown off, two of them died.

This brings the total number of deaths on four wheelers in South Georgia to at least 11, just in the past year.

An afternoon of fun and four wheeler riding ended tragically. "They loaded their four wheelers after church and went to Berrien Beach," said Berrien County Sheriff Jerry Brogdon.

The driver of the Polaris 500, 19-year-old Michael Shane Thompson and passenger 15-year-old Scarlett Barker both died instantly. Another passenger, 14-year-old Jessica Martin wasn't seriously injured. "She was taken to South Georgia Medical Center and is going to be okay," said Brogdon.

State troopers say the teens were coming around this curve on Cross Creek Road when the driver lost control and slammed into this tree. None of them were wearing a helmet.

"The way the tracks were around the curve, it appears that they were going too fast to take that sharp of a curve," said Brogdon.

Sheriff Brogdon says illegal ATV riding is a big problem in this area. "We have a lot of complaints in Berrien County about four wheelers and people flying on them up and down the road," said Brogdon.

He hopes this tragedy will teach other kids the dangers ATV's can pose. "It's against the law to be on any public road with a four wheeler and it plainly states on them that you're only supposed to have one person on it, you're not supposed to ride people," said Brogdon.

Rules that will hopefully be remembered and followed to prevent another ATV tragedy. Georgia law also requires that anyone riding an all terrain vehicle wear a helmet.

posted at 5:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com