Man killed in ATV accident

Published 11:59 pm Monday, August 24, 2009

An ATV accident claimed the life of a Fort Walton Beach, Fla., man Saturday.

Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks said the accident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. at “The Bull Pen,” a private ATV trail-riding business located on private property on Prestwood Bridge Road.

Meeks said the accident victim was identified as 50-year-old Mark Henry Dillon.

Dillon was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

“He had been the apparent victim of a four-wheeler accident,” he said. “The ATV had overturned, causing fatal injuries to Mr. Dillon. He was not wearing any safety equipment.

“We hate to see anyone hurt on an ATV, much less, a death,” he said. “We want everyone to be careful when operating an ATV, whether they’re at a facility such as ‘the Bull Pen’ or ‘Boggs and Boulders’ or on their own property.

“Riders should always take every safety precaution when riding,” he said. “Make sure to wear helmets, and parents — be aware of the appropriate age when letting children ride by themselves.”

It is the first ATV fatality in Covington County in 2009.

Last week, a Gantt man was critically injured when the four-wheeler he was riding overturned on top of him. Law enforcement said he was not wearing a helmet, which “may have contributed to his injuries.”