Hurley Residents Say Track Could Prevent Future ATV Fatalities

Tim Miles drove many miles Sunday afternoon so his son TJ could ride four wheelers with his friends on his birthday.

The Gautier resident says there were two big reasons he made the trip to Red Creek Off Road ATV park in George County, fun and safety.

"It's a very safe place to ride. There's not many places that, I guess legally, you can ride," Miles says.

Park owner Marie Burge says Miles isn't the only one, she hears the very same complaint from all of her customers.

"They always tell me there's no place to ride, no place to ride," Burge says.

Red Creek Off Road is one of only a few ATV parks in South Mississippi.

But after a four wheeler accident left two Hurley boys dead, the Hurley community says South Mississippi needs more parks, and they need one in Hurley.

"Dirt hurts, but the road kills. I'd rather wreck on a track than the road," Hurley resident Ryan Anderson says.

"The only place we have right now is out on the streets and in people's back yards and in the woods. Even in the woods you have stumps and fallen trees. So we need a good safe place for kids to go and enjoy themselves and be safe about it," Hurley resident Stan Brazell says.

Brazell says almost every household in the area has an ATV and traveling an hour or more to Red Creek Off Road is not a practical alternative.

"Really don't have time to go up there, it's a pretty good haul," Anderson says.

Last week's loss now has Hurley residents thinking twice when they get behind the wheel of an ATV.

"We're guilty of it. I've ridden on the streets, my kids have ridden on the streets. But as of that tragedy last week, we will not ride on the streets again," Hurley resident Neal Grant says.

But a park like this in Hurley, they say, would help keep riders off the road for good and give them a more safe, fun place to spin their wheels.

"It'd definitely be a lot safer," Grant says.

Jackson County Board of Supervisors President Manly Barton says he will look into the idea of an ATV track, but says there is still a lot of research to be done before pursuing the plan.