Pennsylvania man killed during area event for ATV riders


Published: Saturday, January 4, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 4, 2003 at 12:24 a.m.
A 19-year-old man died Friday in a national all-terrain vehicle racing event near Newberry.
Matt D. Bartosek of East Springfield, Pa., was participating in the 2003 ATV Winter National Olympics held at the Gatorback Cycle Park, 20525 NW 46th Ave., when he was killed.
Bartosek was on a four-wheel ATV - an all-terrain vehicle - on a racetrack when his leg got caught between a foot rest and a rear fender, said Justin Lagotic, Alachua County Fire Rescue spokesman.
The ATV rolled with Bartosek on it and landed on his chest, Lagotic said.
Paramedics were already on site at the event and rushed to Bartosek. He was airlifted to Shands at the University of Florida at 3:16 p.m. and died there soon after.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death.
Although there were more events scheduled for Friday night, the track was quiet late Friday afternoon. Trailers and small campers were parked across the large lot and few people were seen outside.
Park officials had no comment on the death.
Sources said some of Bartosek's family had been at the race.
Friday was the second day of the four-day event, which is being run by Unlimited Sports.
The ATV Olympics races consist of three events, according to the Unlimited Sports Web site.
The first is a cross country race, involving a 6-8 mile track through the woods, hills and "rough stuff."
The second event is called Super-TT and consists of a closed Supercross style track with obstacles such as smooth rounded jumps, banked turns and sweeper turns.
The last event is a motocross race on the Gatorback Raceway with big hills and big jumps on an elevated track.
A $10,000 prize is to be split among the winners.
ATVs are motorized vehicles with large, low-pressure tires, designed for off-highway use, according to the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety in Marshfield, Wis. They can weigh from 100 to 600 pounds and travel up to 75 mph.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said 344 people were reported killed in ATV accidents in 2000 and they believe the deaths are under-reported due to different reporting procedures. In 1999, 357 deaths were reported and 251 in 1998.
Florida ranked seventh in the nation for the number of ATV deaths between 1982 and 2001.
In addition, 111,700 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries in 2001.
Children under 16 accounted for 38 percent of those injuries between 1982 and 2001, according to the commission.
At the same time, ATV sales are increasing, with more than half a million new ATVs sold in 1999 - double the amount sold in 1995, according to Steel Riders ATV Adventure magazine.
Kathy Ciotola can be reached at 338-3109 or ciotolk@ gvillesun.com.

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