ATV Accident Victim Is Pushing For New Safety Measures

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A Pike County man is fighting for his life after an ATV accident.

He is the second family member to be involved in a serious ATV crash.

Now the other victim, a teenager, is taking his ATV safety message to the public.

Dustin Layne-Lawson wasn't wearing a helmet when he crashed two years ago.

Doctors told his family he would never survive.

He did, but his life will never be the same.

Now a cousin crashed on an ATV over the weekend and has serious head injuries.

The teen is sharing his story, in hopes others won't go through the same thing.

18 year old Dustin Layne-Lawson dreamed of going to college and one day being an architect, but now, those dreams will never come true.

“Cause I just got one eye and a I just can't see very good,” Dustin said.

An ATV crash two years ago took Dustin's sight and almost took his life.

Mom Garlene Layne-Abshire says he crashed head-on into another ATV and went flying to the ground.

He wasn't wearing a helmet and the crash broke his skull, caused brain damage, and collapsed his lungs.

“Told us he would not survive the night,” Garlene said.

After seven weeks in a coma, and months of rehabilitation, Dustin can walk and talk, but still has brain damage and isn't expected to fully recover.

“We know if he was wearing a helmet, his injuries would not have been as severe,” Garlene said.

Now the family is dealing with this again.

Another family member, 31 year old Shawn Hunt, had an ATV accident Saturday and is fighting for his life.

Now Dustin is preaching ATV safety.

Dustin may never be an architect, but now he has a new career.

“Save one life, to save it,” Dustin said.

A career he thinks is worth it if people wear their helmets.

Shawn Hunt is in Holston Valley Hospital in Tennessee.

Dustin Layne-Lawson hopes to get some company sponsors to help take his story statewide and convince others to wear helmets.


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  • by Anthony Location: Pikeville on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:19 AM
    I first came to know this young man when he asked for information to use for a project for the CEDAR Coal Fair. He has been, and I believe still will be, an outstanding person. People (especially those people who own and operate ATVs) should pay close attention to his story and his recommendations. This is a yound man who is speaking from personal experience, and who is "telling it like it is" about the dangers inherent to ATVs. It only took ONE momentary lapse in safe operating prcedures to change his life forever. Dustin has the right attitude, and although he may not achieve his original dreams, he can still be a tremendous force for the future safety and well-being of countless others, if they will pay attention to his message. I applaud his efforts, his integrity, and his desire to make a difference. Based on his experience, he has earned the right to speak out and he deserves to be heard. I will never ride my motorcycle or an ATV without my helmet.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Aug 1, 2008 at 05:00 AM
    Sounds to me like this family tree doesn't fork at all. If that many people in one family can't read the instruction PRINTED ON THE ATV, not wearing a helmet is the least of their problems.
  • by cynthia Location: richmond on Jul 23, 2008 at 01:01 PM
    Dustin is a hero and a miracle. May God bless him, his cousin, and their families. Maybe someday everyone will wear helmets.
  • by artteacher Location: p;ike county on Jul 23, 2008 at 07:06 AM
    Dustin's accident was just that, an accident. He had worn his helmet all evening. He does not remember why on that ride he had not put it on. Dustin was on a leisurly ride when he entered a blind curve and was hit head on by a dirt bike. His message is for "all ATV's safety and swareness and know your surroundings" not just wearing a helmet. The majority of the interview was left out. He is saying to make wise deicisions and to be safe no matter what age you are. We agree that the ATV laws should be pushed yet we see that this is not done. Dustin just wants everyone to make their own decisions but to make wise ones. His decision of not putting his helmet back on has left him with life long medical problems and not the life he would have wanted.He doesn't want any other family go through the pain of watching a loved one die or suffer due to not heeding ATV safety. Dustin is looking for sponsorship to help him spread his message to the public, especially to the schools.
  • by amanda Location: pikeville on Jul 22, 2008 at 06:50 PM
    I believe that parents need to monitor there children a whole lot more. A child has no business riding a Atv or a dirt bike on the road anyways and if parents would watch there kids more alot of these accidents would not happen. I don't blame the child I blame the parents for not giving these children better guidence.They need to pay better attention to there kids.
  • by R Location: Ky on Jul 22, 2008 at 06:28 PM
    Way to go Dustin. Everyone who rides an atv should wear an helment, which she be made a law for anyone who rides an ATV just as well it is law for motorcycles. It should also be law that anyone under th age of 16 should not be able to ride ATV's or motorcycles and if the police do catch someone riding an ATV without a helmet and on the highway they should be fined.....I hope and pray Dustin that you are able to take your story statewide and help others to be more safe when they are riding a motor vehicle....
  • by Will Location: Whitesburg on Jul 22, 2008 at 04:20 PM
    Yea on the first comment. Lets make a road for ATVs, one for coal trucks and oh yea don't forget the motorcycle highway and the bicycle highway and the pedestrian highway too. LOL
  • by RALPH Location: PIKEVILLE on Jul 22, 2008 at 02:50 PM
    I AGREE WITH ZEKE AND GOBEL. I THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE TO BE OLD ENOUGH TO OBTAIN A DRIVING LICENSE IN ORDER TO RIDE AN ATV. MOST ATV'S THAT ARE MADE ANYMORE HAVE MORE POWER THAN A LOT OF VEHICLES THAT CAN BE RIDDEN ON THE HIGWAYS LEGALLY. EVEN AT THAT, THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE, BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T MATURED ENOUGH. NO!!! ATV'S ARE NOT TOYS.
  • by anyomus Location: pike county on Jul 22, 2008 at 02:13 PM
    i think that everyone should wear a helmet and gloves to protect head and hands....i think atv's should be allowed on the highway with a road beside the highway like in west virginia...got look there ksp...and government...
  • by Me Location: Here on Jul 22, 2008 at 11:00 AM
    Good job Dustin, I wish you luck in your quest for more safety while on ATV's. Helmets should definitely be worn on all motor vehicles .... motorcycles, ATV's and right on down the line to snowmobiles.
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