atv accident

Looking Back on the Teen Who Barely Survived After Driving ATV Into Barbed Wire

To say this guy is lucky to be alive after his ATV accident is the understatement of the century.

A South Arkansas teen saw his life flash before his eyes when he drove into an unmarked barbed wire fence on his ATV. Because there were no signs or flags, he drove through it at full speed moments before barbed wire wrapped around his neck and snatched him off the machine.

"I'm blessed that I'm still here. I would have bled out right there," 16-year-old Dakoda Cartwright told FOX16 KLRT. "You just couldn't see it. It was at the perfect height to hit someone in the neck."

Cartwright believes hunters left the wire, which ran from the trail's entrance down along the county road, and asks locals to mark their barbed wire so no other off-road riders end up in the same position.

"It came off that big tree and just wrapped around my neck," he said. "All I remember feeling was it like grabbing my neck and yanking me."

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Doctors had to use 35 staples to close the wound, which they told Cartwright was the most they'd ever put in someone's neck.

There's no question this brutal neck injury will leave a permanent scar on Cartwright's body. But, it's perhaps just as certain this accident should've killed him, so he continues to count his blessings.

"There's going to be a bad scar there for the rest of my life," he said. "It's just a story. Another story, another scar."

As someone who's no stranger to driving four-wheelers down tight paths, I can relate to the fear of getting into this kind of accident. I remember several childhood friends of mine having run-ins with barbed wire, and none of them were pretty.

Whenever you put up barbed wire, it's always smart to put up some kind of marker, just in case. Even if it's private land where someone shouldn't be riding, no one wants to see something like this happen to a high school kid.

Cartwright actually had permission in this case, however, but the landowner had no idea about the barbed wire.

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