FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – A Fresno County family is mourning the loss of a 13-year-old boy, killed in an ATV crash the day after Thanksgiving.
The teen, identified as Raul Meza, and his 9-year-old cousin were riding along Mount Whitney Avenue near Laton when they collided with a dog in the road.
“Unfortunately the driver of the ATV was not wearing a helmet which was required. Anyone who is a parent can relate to that family just how heartbreaking especially in the holiday season,” said Mike Salas, CHP-Fresno Public Information Officer.
The CHP says Raul’s cousin was wearing a helmet at the time and sustained minor injuries and is expected to recover.
The teen driver died from his injuries at Community Regional Medical Center.
“Don’t let Raul’s death happen in vain, use it as an example and learning tool not only for yourself but anyone else you happen to see,” said Salas.
The family has set up a gofundme to raise money for funeral expenses. In it they wrote:
“We are devastated by this and dont know how we will continue our journey without Raul. He was our center of attention and the one who brought laughs and happiness. Please share and please keep our family in prayers as we will need them. We ask you hold your loved ones tight and remind them every moment you can that you love them.”
Salas says the tragic accident serves as a reminder of ATV laws and the importance of helmets, although it’s unknown if it would have saved Raul’s life in this accident.
“They are required to wear helmets, registered and have drivers license,” said Salas on anyone operating an ATV.
He also emphasized the dangers of rural county roads.
“It’s not just the dogs we have to watch out for, we have coyotes, we have people working out in the fields out there so just take that extra amount of caution to avoid these collisions because they happen all the time,” said Salas.