Juniper Dunes Open - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Juniper Dunes Open

Posted: Updated:

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Wash. - A 14-year-old boy was flown to the hospital after he got into an accident at Juniper Dunes.

The Franklin County Fire Chief Les Litzenberger thinks the area might be busier now that federal officials have expanded the area where the public is allowed to ride their ATV's, motorcycles and dirt bikes in Juniper Dunes.

Litzenberger said the Juniper Dunes have been open for less then a week and there have been lots of visitors, but Saturday afternoon a young boy had a serious accident and had to be picked up by MedStar and flown to a nearby hospital.

Chris Plourd witnessed the accident and said, "We were there for the whole thing.  We helped rescue crews.  The kid was riding too fast and didn't see a 19-foot fall.  He landed at the bottom and broke his back."

Witness Scot Muskthel said, "Kind of makes you think twice about doing stuff."

ATV Rider Wayne Parker wants to be a professional rider.  He said, "I'm always wearing all my riding equipment gear.  I just got back from a ride.  I have my chest protector, boots, and helmets.  You have to pay attention to the terrain too."

Litzenberger warned the public to be prepared when they go to Juniper Dunes and said it is a great place to come out and ride but said there can be problems when riders are not dressed properly.

Plourd said, "What you do when you come out here. You run the danger of getting hurt but that the fun in it, that's the adrenaline rush."

The fire chief said the crowds will continue to increase as the warm months get underway and said Juniper Dunes attracts people from all over the surrounding area.

He encouraged riders to bring a cell phone with them in case they have a problem.