Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating a fatal ATV crash that occurred on Saturday, May 23, 2020 in the early evening that resulted in the death of 8-year-old Jace McLaughlin of Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Jace McLaughlin was the sole occupant/operator of a Red/Black Honda TRX 680 ATV when it overturned and landed on him.
According to interviews by witnesses and evidence collected at the scene, the crash occurred on the property of the River Ranch Hunt Club in a wooded area. The area where the crash occurred has a sandy trail that travels north and south with an elevated embankment on each side of the trail. Jace McLaughlin was operating a black/red Honda TRX 680 ATV with a group of other riders who were operating all-terrain vehicles northbound on a sandy trail within the River Ranch Hunt Club. In the area of the crash there was a curve that traveled in a northeasterly direction. As Jace began to negotiate the curve and traveled in a northeasterly direction, he lost control of the Honda ATV. The Honda ATV began to overturn in a counter clockwise rotation; the boy was ejected from the seat of the Honda ATV. The front left side of the Honda ATV rolled onto the boy and came to final rest, causing severe trauma.
Members of the group, which included his mother Kathryn Brown-McLaughlin (Pembroke Pines), were able to remove Jace from underneath the Honda ATV. Members of the group notified 911 but due to the area of the crash being in a remote area, Ms. Brown-McLaughlin transported Jace to the front gate of the River Ranch Hunt Club where she met with Polk County Fire Rescue. McLaughlin was observed to have blunt force trauma to the head–Polk County Fire/Medics began lifesaving measures by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida where he succumbed to his injures.
Jace was not wearing any protective gear or a helmet. The causation for this crash is under investigation.