My three and a half year old son was killed while we were enjoying a leisurely ride on our ATV up at the cottage, near Haliburton this Easter weekend past. We struck a near invisible chain that was strung across a road – unmarked. Hunter died in my arms and I learned later that his neck was broken instantly by the chain as it cut across us. He was wearing a helmet but it didn’t matter. His death was senseless and preventable. There was no indication whatsoever that we ended up on private property. Had the owner of the road simply marked or flagged that chain in some way, Hunter would be alive today.
Every year there are numerous fatalities and serious injuries resulting from collisions with unmarked chains and cables. People enjoying recreational activities such as riding snowmobiles and ATVs are unnecessarily at risk. The purpose of this website is to help create a larger awareness of such avoidable tragedies by having property owners use ‘common sense’ when erecting barriers to their land/roadway entrances and realize that otherwise these dangerous and potentially lethal barriers are actually quite ineffective from a security perspective.
If we can save one life by encouraging property owners to properly identify their entrances then Hunter’s death would not be in vain.
Currently there is no municipal by-law in place making it illegal to not properly mark or flag chains, fences & other such barriers. We’ve been made aware there are several potential challenges in establishing such a by-law, including the issue of enforceability. However that in itself is not a reason not to pursue it. How many people had to drown before it became a criminal offence to not have a pool or pond properly fenced in on private property – this scenario is not dissimilar. We hope to gain the support of the general public and recreational organizations to lobby the various levels of government to take a closer look, see what can be done and perhaps one day make the by-law a reality. As a father who lost his only son, there is no better way to honour him.
If you have any information that could help us with our efforts please contact me at Jason@commonsensefence.com
Hunter was the definition of happiness. His time with us was impossibly short but he made such an impression and brought a smile to everyone who was fortunate enough to have known him. He was a compassionate soul. He loved his family, his friends at school, his cars, and all things outdoors. He simply loved life. He died while doing what he loved to do – going for a ride on the quad with dad up at the cottage. We will forever cherish our Hunter boy.