April 26, 2017 — Lawyers in Utah have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Polaris for two women who died in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that caught on fire in a rollover accident last year.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Destiny Dixon, 28, and Debbie Swann, 51, both from Arizona. They died on September 2, 2016 over Labor Day weekend when their Polaris ATV tipped over and exploded.
Ms. Dixon was driving a Polaris Ranger 800 ATV from the 2010 model-year. The ATV tipped over slowly on the passenger side and slid backwards. It exploded before they could unbuckle their seatbelts.
The accident occurred on a path known as the Hell’s Revenge Trail in the Sand Flats Recreation Area east of Moab, Utah. They tipped over as they tried to navigate an obstacle called the “Tip Over Challenge.”
Investigators determined that the fuel neck hit the ground and ripped off the gas cap when the ATV tipped over, which caused gasoline to pour out and ignite within seconds. Bystanders tried to rescue the women but the ATV burst into flames before help arrived.
According to an attorney representing the women:
“Right before they could get there, it burst into flames and there was nothing they could do. Everybody who was with Debbie and Destiny had to watch them burn to death.”
Lawyers representing the families of both women says the fuel tank is located too close to riders and it is not properly shielded to protect it from damage in a rollover accident.
Unlike passenger cars, ATV fuel pumps do not shut off automatically in the event of a rollover. Passenger cars also have gas caps that are fully recessed and covered by a door to protect them from impacts.
In the last two years, Polaris has recalled over 338,000 vehicles due to a variety of safety defects, mostly related to potential fire hazards. Polaris ATVs have been involved in at least 247 fires to date. The recalls involve certain RZR, Ranger, and Sportsman ATVs, but not the ATV the women were driving when they died.
Do I have a Polaris ATV Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Polaris ATV induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured or died in a fire or rollover accident, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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