6th grader fights for life after ATV accident in Elma

Posted at 6:59 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 19:21:24-04

A serious ATV accident in Elma has left a 6th grade Iroquois Central Schools' student in critical condition at Buffalo's Women & Childrens Hospital.

Zack Matla, 12, suffered a serious head injury after the ATV he was driving rolled back onto the boy as he hit a tree root while trying to go up a hill.  The accident happened in the woods about a mile from the intersection of Townline Road and Clinton Street, Elma.

Erie County Sheriff's say the child was wearing the proper helmet and there are no indications of improper ATV operation.

"Really, truly this is the definition of a tragic accident," said Chief Scott Joslyn from the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

The Elma accident came shortly after Wyoming County Sheriff's reported finding 43-year-old Jason Krull pinned under an ATV in the Town of Arcade on Sunday.  Krull later died at ECMC.

With the warm weather encouraging many ATV users to use their machines, police are reminding operators to use caution because ATV's have an inherent risk of being dangerous.

Having a proper fitting DOT helmet is mandatory but it is also strongly recommended that young operators wear chest protectors.

The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles provides a link to the following information about operating an ATV: https://dmv.ny.gov/brochure/atvs-information-owners-and-operators