Paralyzed man using pipe to drive crashes, injures children

When people who are not able to properly drive a vehicle attempt to do so, it can be like an accident waiting to happen. A Panama City man made a dangerous choice when he attempted to drive an ATV this week, and he severely injured himself as a result in a vehicle accident. Two young children riding with him were hurt as well.

The 30-year-old man is paralyzed and attempted to use a PVC pipe to operate the gas and brake pedals on the 2010 Carbide 150cc ATV while driving it. Many vehicles designed for everyday use have special brakes and handles for people with disabilities, but most recreational vehicles do not.

The man reportedly operated the ATV along a clearing near power lines on High Cliff Road. At some point he apparently lost control of the ATV, causing it to overturn. It apparently then rolled onto its side. No one in the ATV was wearing a seat belt.

According to Northwest Florida Daily News, the man was seriously injured in the accident. His young passengers, a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old boy, also sustained minor injuries. However, they were well enough to go seek help to get the man out of the vehicle. He was apparently unable to get out or right the vehicle.

The man was taken to Gulf Coast Hospital after the boys got help at a nearby home. Reports indicate that charges are pending against him, and the crash is still under investigation.

Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, “Paralyzed man uses PVC pipe to drive ATV, crashes with children in vehicle,” Angel McCarthy, Aug. 4, 2011