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All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety

Madison’s Story

(words provided by Robyn, Madison’s mom)


The call came shortly after 7pm . . .

"Madison is ok but she had an accident".

My heart raced as I heard that two eight year olds on a junior quad should have been fine because they 'don't go that fast'.

As my mind raced, I realized that the call was made to me because Madison was not "ok" and I was being asked if she should be taken to the Drayton Valley hospital or into Edmonton – either way was 45 minutes.

I began to ask the questions: “Was she wearing a helmet?” Yes. “Did she lose consciousness?” No. “Does she have any loss in mobility or balance?” No. “Are her eyes clear and equal?” Yes. As I am asking these questions, I am thinking how can I get to my little girl and how can I get her medical attention fast.

I agreed that they should drive into Edmonton.

That was the longest 45 minutes of my life.

The minivan pulled up and I saw what used to be my perfect little girl. Her head was misshapen from the large bruising and hematoma on her right temple, bruising and abrasions on her chin and the road rash on her hip was oozing blood. That was the first moment that I realized she was more than just banged up a little. We raced to the closest hospital and went through hours of testing and x-rays to rule out a skull fracture, closed head injury, cervical injury, as well as cleaning out the road rash. Madison was trying not to cry as they scrubbed out the gravel from her hip but the pain was so intense she began to shake uncontrollably.

Madison had been driving the quad (never had driven before), and the first point of contact appeared to be Madison's head as the two came up over the handle bars. Thankfully, her friend was not hurt (beyond some road rash) because she landed on top of Madison as they skidded across the road. The lining of the helmet Madison was wearing was split in two from the impact. The doctor confirmed that if the helmet did not have the jaw guard, Madison would have likely broken her jaw. Upon discharge from the hospital, I was directed to take Madison for ongoing dental assessments to review for probable TMJ issues.

Madison has recovered from her injuries but still bears a significant scar on her left hip. When people see her scar, she is quick to tell them the story of why quads are dangerous. When I see the scar, I am quick to remember how close I came to losing her.


Current as of: February 6, 2018

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services