ATV Accident Victims Share Learned Lessons

Memories of a near fatal accident are blocked, but scars from the severe head injuries tell two cousins they're lucky to be alive. Adam Stripling, 17, described his injuries. "They put a metal plate in my head because there was a hole in my forehead and they put metal bones in my nose. Pretty much every bone from my top jaw up was broke and my left eye. The doctors say I will never see again out of it again."

During the three days following the accident Christopher Christian, 21, fought for his life. "They had to reconstruct my head and they put glue and stuff in it."

Adam was driving a 3 wheeler. Christopher was on a 4 wheeler. Blood marks the spot where the two hit head after topping a hill on a darkened county road. "We were expecting to see somebody's lights when we came over the hill so neither one of us had lights so that's why it happened," explained Stripling. And Christopher's 4 wheeler didn't have brakes. Not unusual to the two guys who spend hours tinkering away on junk vehicles in Christian's garage. Stripling said, "We rode them so much out here like that we just got used to doing stuff like that."

But eventually luck ran out. Now they have a new respect for safety. Christian said, "I'm going to get brakes put on mine before I drive it again and put some headlights on it. I'm definitely going to start wearing a helmet." Stripling agreed, "I kinda believe in a helmet now."

This relieves the mothers who are helping their sons on the long road to a full recovery. They want other ATV enthusiasts to learn from their son's mistakes.