3 dead after ATV carrying 3 from NC plummets 100 feet

North Carolina
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JACKSBORO, Tenn. (AP/WATE) – Tennessee authorities say three ATV riders from North Carolina were killed when their vehicle fell down a 100-foot embankment through thick brush.

Media outlets report a fourth person was found injured by emergency responders. The Campbell County Sheriff’s office said Monday the injured minor was airlifted to a Knoxville hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

The crash occurred Sunday in the area of a privately owned, off-road adventure park that offers riding trails.

Authorities have identified the dead as 47-year-old Ronnie Akins, 19-year-old Dillon Akins and 19-year-old Jonathan Laws, all of Weaverville, North Carolina.

The sheriff’s office says the side-by-side ATV left a trail and fell more than 100 feet. Rescuers had to cut through thick brush and trees to reach the crash site.

Dillon Akins and Johnathan Laws had been basketball players at North Buncombe High School. 

The school’s basketball team page on Facebook said in a post: “The Blackhawks suffered a tragic loss tonight. Our hearts are saddened as we mourn the loss of Johnny, Dillon and Dillon’s father. Johnny and Dillon were two fine young men. Our hearts and prayers are with their families. Please remember the families in prayer.”  

Windrock Park consists of 73,000 acres and says it is the largest privately owned riding area in the United States, according to its website. It has an Oliver Springs address.

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