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THREE ATV RIDERS KILLED, ONE INJURED IN 100-FOOT PLUMMET OFF TRAIL

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A hundred-foot crash sent three North Carolina ATV riders to their deaths Sunday afternoon and left a fourth injured in an Oliver Springs riding area.

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Department said the side-by-side ATV left a trail in Windrock Park and fell more than 100 feet. The accident was reported at 1:18 and, according to a department spokesman, rescuers had to cut through trees and thick brush to reach the crash site.

Killed in the crash were 47-year-old Ronnie Akins, Akins’ 19-year-old son, Dillon Akins and a friend, 19-year-old Jonathan “Johnny” Laws, all of Weaverville, North Carolina, about 100 miles east of Knoxville. A fourth person, identified only as “a minor,” had to be airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the crash. The riders were guests at the park.

Laws and the younger Akins were basketball teammates at North Buncombe High School.

Windrock Park encompasses 73,000 acres with more than 300 miles of trails. It is billed as the largest privately owned riding area in the United States.

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