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DNR conservation officers investigate weekend injury ORV crash in Gladwin County

A 22-year-old Saginaw County man and a 23-year-old Midland County woman suffered serious injuries Sunday after the off-road vehicle they were operating crashed and became engulfed in flames.

Both riders were air lifted to Hurley Medical Center in Flint to be treated for severe burn injuries. They were reported in stable condition this morning.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division is withholding the names of those involved pending an ongoing investigation into the crash.

Gladwin County Central Dispatch notified emergency responders at 1:33 p.m. Sunday that an ORV had rolled over and possibly exploded. The crash occurred on state-managed land, west of Adams Road near the Island Lake Road intersection.

Conservation Officer Ryan Weakman was the first law enforcement officer to arrive at the scene, joining EMS personnel.

Both riders were on the same ORV. They had been parked at the Gladwin County snowmobile trailhead with a group of friends they had been riding with.

Witnesses told Weakman that the man drove a 2020 Can-Am X3 side-by-side over a small dirt hill. The ORV landed on its nose, flipped, overturned and caught fire.

He was able to crawl away from the ORV, but his passenger was stuck in the safety harness, and she had to be removed by others at the scene.

Another unidentified man, who assisted with the incident, was transported to University of Michigan Medical Center in West Branch, before he was also sent to Hurley Medical Center for burns sustained while removing the woman from the ORV.

Both people in the ORV were wearing safety harnesses. Helmets are not required on this type of ORV and were not worn by either of the injured riders.

The Gladwin Fire Department, Gladwin County Sheriff's Office, Mid-Michigan Medical Center EMS and LifeNet (helicopter) assisted the DNR.

DNR conservation officers remind ORV riders to operate at a safe speed within their abilities and to allow for snow, rain or other factors affecting riding conditions. Learn more about ORV safety through the DNR’s Ride Right safety campaign.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents through general law enforcement and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.

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Contact: Lt. Brandon Kieft, 989-275-5151 ext. 272-7100