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New York Accident Results in Another Yamaha Rhino Death

Frank J. Dito, Jr.
Car accident, personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney serving Staten Island and Brooklyn New York.

Posted on Jun 04, 2009

A 13-year-old boy was killed in upstate New York when his off-road vehicle rolled over.  The passenger in the off-road vehicle was not injured.

Wyatt Spencer had only received the Yamaha Rhino a few hours before his fatal accident.  His death has raised new concerns about the safety of the off-road vehicle.  The boy’s father was not aware of dozens of fatal Yamaha Rhino rollover accident cases that have occurred over the past several years.

Even though Wyatt was not wearing a helmet or seat belt at the time of the off-road vehicle accident, according to his father he was experienced with off-road vehicles, 4-wheelers, motorcycles and tractors.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began an investigation after receiving complaints about the Yamaha Rhino.  In March, the CPSC announced that it had investigated 50 Rhino accidents that had caused 46 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries.  More than two-thirds of these cases were associated with rollovers.

As a result of the CPSC’s investigation, all Rhino 450, 660 and 700 models distributed since fall of 2003 were recalled.  Yamaha was to repair the off-road vehicles free of charge under the recall.

Wyatt’s father said he was not aware of the deaths linked to Rhino rollover accidents.   It is still unclear as to whether the design of the Yamaha Rhino played a factor in Wyatt’s crash.  Police have stated that his failure to wear a seat belt or helmet contributed to the seriousness of the accident.

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