The Pembina Valley RCMP has charged a 29-year-old mom with three offences after her 13-year-old daughter and six friends were in a collision involving an off-road vehicle, including sending one to a hospital in Winnipeg with serious injuries. 

The incident took place on June 15, and none of the seven youths were wearing a helmet. The females, all aged 13 and under, were riding together on the side-by-side Off-Road-Vehicle (ORV) when they lost control on the gravel and the ORV rolled into the ditch, throwing all the riders.

A 13-year-old female was transported to Winnipeg hospital with serious injuries. A second 13-year-old female was transported to a local hospital with minor physical injuries.

The mother was charged with: As the Owner, Permit an Unsupervised Person Under 14 years of age to Operate an ORV; As the Owner of an Unregistered ORV Permit It to Be Operated; Have More Passengers Than Allowed on ORV.

"We take these incidents extremely seriously," says Staff Sergeant Brent Mattice, Area Commander for Pembina Valley RCMP in a press release. "This could easily have been a much more tragic outcome. These machines are not for unsupervised children. They are not a toy. A fun ride can go bad quickly, as was the case here. The laws are there to keep people safe, and we are enforcing them."

The RCMP's focus is to help get people home safely. Tara Seel, RCMP Media Relations Officer gives more details. 

"We want people to be out there and enjoying the nice weather. We just want people to do it in a safe way. If you have a child under the age of 14, they are not permitted to operate an ORV without supervision. Anyone over the age of 14, supervised and wearing the proper safety equipment is still not allowed to cross a roadway until they have their driver's license. Those are all things to keep in mind."

Seel shares that anytime people drive these vehicles, a helmet must be worn unless it has a proper roll cage, but in that instance, a seat belt must be worn. 

In the last three years (2019-2021) in Manitoba RCMP jurisdiction, there have been 116 serious injury collisions involving all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and utility terrain vehicles. Of those, 18 were fatalities. There were more serious injury collisions and fatalities involving those types of vehicles than there were involving motorcycles (55/15). ATVs had the highest numbers at 76 serious injury collisions and 16 fatalities.