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DUNNELLON — Two 7-year-old girls were hospitalized Wednesday night after the all-terrain vehicle they were riding collided with a sports utility vehicle in Chatmire, throwing both of them from the ATV.

According to an accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash occurred around 6 p.m. when a 2002 Buick Rendezvous driven by Leshaun Gunter was traveling northbound on Southwest 198th Terrace and the ATV attempted to cross the roadway from east to west, entering the path of the Buick. The front of the Buick struck the ATV, which spun clockwise and overturned onto its right side.

Victoria Brown, the girl driving the ATV, was listed in critical condition, according to the report. Her passenger, Layla Cox, was in serious condition when the pair were airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Marion County Fire Rescue crews were dispatched at 6:17 p.m. and arrived at 6:22 p.m., according to MCFR spokesman James Lucas. Rescue personnel called for a trauma alert at 6:29 p.m., asking for two helicopters.

A landing zone was created in open field near the Walmart at , Lucas said. The first helicopter arrived at 6:45 p.m., taking off at 7:05 p.m., he said; the second helicopter arrived at 6:54 and lifted off at 7:07 p.m.

The report stated neither of the girls were wearing helmets. Gunter was not injured in the crash.

Charges are pending, according to the report, as the crash remains under investigation.

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Contact Riverland News Editor Jeff Bryan at editor@riverlandnews.com.

(1) comment

LARRYG

Why are two young ladies riding an ATV anyway? ATVs are illegal to ride on a public highway in the state of Florida. They have no DOT approved brakes, lights, wheels, and tires. There are warning posted on the ATV about riding those vehicles and the dangers of operating them. Every time I read about a child getting hurt or killed on one of those things, I want to throw up. I do know what I am talking about, as I have been a Motorcycle Dealer. I always tried to warn parents of the dangers of ridding Illegally on a machine that was not to be ridden on the street. Please stop allowing. children ridding these ATVs.

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