Girl dies after ATV crash while riding with dad, sister in Fox Chapel yard
A 5-year-old Fox Chapel girl died Thursday evening when the all-terrain vehicle on which she was riding with her father and sister crashed, according to police.
The crash occurred near Guyasuta and Longfellow roads shortly before 7:30 p.m.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the girl as Annabel Whittingham. She died in the hospital shortly after the incident, according to Allegheny County Police.
Annabel’s 37-year-old father and 8-year-old sister were treated for minor injuries and are in stable condition, police said. Attempts to reach the family for comment weren’t successful.
Family members told investigators Annabel was seated in front of her father on the ATV and her sister was seated behind him, police said.
The wreck is believed to have occurred when, as they were riding the ATV in their yard, Annabel grabbed the vehicle’s thumb throttle, causing the ATV to accelerate and go over a hillside where it struck a tree, police said Friday morning.
“At this point in time, we have no information to doubt the version of events presented to detectives by family members,” police wrote in a news release Friday morning.
Annabel was a student at O’Hara Elementary School, which is part of the Fox Chapel Area School District.
The school district released a statement in which they described her as being “truly kind,” “so sweet,” and “very joyful.” She also “loved being in school,” the statement said.
“Her passing is a loss for the entire Fox Chapel Area community,” the statement said.
A safety inspection of the ATV will be conducted by Allegheny County Police. Once the investigation has been completed it will be turned over to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office for review.
Mike Manko, spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said the office had no comment Friday since police have not yet completed their investigation.