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ATV safety after deadly crash in Lackawanna County

Following a deadly ATV incident in Archbald on Saturday, folks at The Lost Trails ATV Park in Dunmore stressed safety and survival tips to keep in mind while riding.

ARCHBALD, Pa. — Gabor Tergati drove two hours from upstate New York to The Lost Trails in Dunmore.

He tells Newswatch 16 he takes the trip because it's one of the safest ATV parks he knows of. 

Tony Novak, who owns The Lost Trails, says his is the only legal riding place made for ATV or side-by-side vehicle riding within at least an hour.

An incident in a remote area in Archbald Saturday night left one woman, Jamie Uchic of Jermyn, dead. It's a reminder of why safety is important; police say the ATV she was riding in rolled into what appeared to be a puddle. It was actually a pond 5 feet deep and 12 feet long.

The ATV pinned Uchic underwater. A man, also on the ride, was able to free himself and two children who were riding with them.

Archbald police say the man's cell phone fell in the water, and he spent about an hour walking with his children, looking for help

RELATED: 38-year-old woman dies in ATV crash

Back at the Lost Trails, Novak says one tip to avoid losing your phone is to store it in a waterproof pouch that you can keep secured to your body.

"You can wear it around your neck in case that happens. And then, they would float," he said.

Novak also stresses that the buddy system is extremely important for safety.

"And by a buddy, it should be someone in another machine," he said. "The buddy could have either radioed out or if they didn't have reception, he could have hightailed it out and got some help."

In addition to checking off certain items like helmets, goggles, and tools you may need, Novak says it's important to stick to legal ATV parks that have safety protocols in place.

"911 has all our information, our trail system, we give out maps to everybody so when they're out there, they kind of know where they're at," explained Novak.

There is also staff driving around to check up on you at parks like this one.

"We basically just ride around the parking lot at all times, making sure that nobody's doing wheelies, no donuts, no tricks of any sorts," said Nathan McMynne, a ranger at the park. 

Staff at the Lost Trails say, like other extreme sports, ATV riding can be dangerous, but keeping all tools at your disposal leaves you in much better hands.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube page.   

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