Butte Falls man dies in ATV accident

A 69-year-old Butte Falls man died this morning after his all-terrain vehicle rolled backwards pinning him underneath, according to Jackson County sheriff deputies.

Investigators found Peter Smith of the 2300 block of Cobleigh Road near Butte Falls Highway dead at the scene, apparently crushed by his ATV.

"It appears that it rolled backwards striking him," sheriff's Lt. Christine Bronson said.

Deputies responded to the scene about 10 a.m.

Smith had taken the ATV out about a half hour earlier to his pasture to take care of his animals, Bronson said.

When he didn't return in a reasonable time, his wife went looking for him, she said.

"His wife found him and screamed out for help," Bronson said. "A neighbor heard her and came over to help."

A preliminary investigation determined that Smith got off his ATV and went around the back. The vehicle rolled backwards, knocking him over and trapping him underneath, Bronson said.

Investigators found pieces of cable that had fallen off the ATV on the ground where the vehicle had been prior to rolling backwards.

"It sounds like something broke," Bronson said.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner has already ruled the case an accidental death, she said.

— Damian Mann

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