FRANCESTOWN — A 14-year-old Massachusetts girl was flown Sunday to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with life-threatening injuries after the utility vehicle she was riding in rolled over in Francestown, pinning her underneath.
New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers responded around 1:50 p.m. Sunday to a report of a serious Off Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) accident on private property along Bible Hill Road in Francestown.
According to conservation officers, a Francestown woman, 49, was operating a Textron Stampede X Utility Vehicle (UTV) across a sloped section of lawn when the UTV rolled over on its side, pinning a 14-year-old female passenger under the vehicle.
Family and friends lifted the UTV off the girl and called 911. The driver and passenger, whose names were not released Sunday, were not wearing seatbelts or helmets at the time of the accident, officials said.
Conservation officers said the teen is not related to the UTV driver.
Based on the seriousness of the teen’s injuries, Francestown Fire Chief Larry Kullgren called for a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team helicopter to come to the scene. The teen was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock with serious life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the UTV refused to be transported to the hospital.
An update on the teen’s condition was unavailable Sunday night.
The accident remains under investigation by conservation officers, but a preliminary investigation indicates operator inexperience was a contributing factor in the rollover.
Fish and Game officials said Sunday that anyone younger than 18 must wear a helmet and eye protection while riding OHRVs. Although not required by law, officials also recommend that all children younger than 18 wear a seatbelt while riding UTVs.