John Carroll. From KWWTX News. Posted on Nov 29, 2016. Original article.

Four people have died and two others have been injured in ATV accidents in the past year in Central Texas, and local officials are warning that proper safety gear and training are essential for anyone who operates the popular off-road vehicles.

The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office has just purchased two ATVs and a side-by-side off road vehicle to use in searches for suspects in rough terrain.

Two deputies were sent for four days of training in how to properly operate them, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.


One of the two, Lt. Shaw Nixon, says the best way to avoid serious injury or death is to “make sure you have the proper safety gear, including a helmet, goggles or face shield, long sleeve shirt, long pants, gloves and a good ankle boot.”

“People need to train themselves on the vehicle, and know the terrain they are riding in.”

McGregor Mayor Jimmy Hering, whose 15-year-old son Rhett died in an ATV accident on Dec. 28, 2015, agrees.

“I think people should wear helmets and I hope the companies that making these vehicles that turn over so easy would reconsider their design,” he said Tuesday.

 Angie Baccus, the owner, operator of Simply Delicious Bakery in Waco almost lost her 18- and 20-year old daughters in an ATV accident on the Memorial Day weekend on her father’s ranch near Oglesby in Coryell County.

Baccus says she was at the farmhouse when her daughter Regan called.

“She said ‘mother hurry there’s blood everywhere and we need ambulances.’”

Regan and Baylee Baccus were riding the ATV together when Baylee says “We went right out the gate and we were most certainly playing around because I said ‘go, go’ and she sped up. We weren’t familiar with the roads because we are pretty new to the ranch and she just took the corner too fast.”

Both girls were ejected into a field,

Regan, the driver was thrown into a post and barbed wire fence.

When the family arrived on the scene, Baccus says, “Regan was covered in blood and Baylee had a deep cut behind her knee that penetrated to her kneecap.”

Speaking by Skype Tuesday from her apartment in Lubbock, where she attends Texas Tech University, Baylee Baccus said, “I see all these accidents and I hurt so much for the families and the friends had to deal with these losses because I know that that could’ve been us.”