Boy killed in off-roading accident from Yigo - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Boy killed in off-roading accident from Yigo

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The 11-year-old boy that died in Sunday night's off-roading accident has been identified as Daniel Joseph Hattig Torre from Yigo. While those close to him are mourning his passing, others in the off-roading community are expressing safety concerns that may have prevented.

Torre is described as an active member of the community whether it was playing baseball, football or attending church. Yigo Mayor Bob Lizama met with the family today, saying, "I see him occasionally at mass when we are, he has the desire to serve as an alter server for not only one mass but sometime up to three masses that are being offered at Santa Benedita Chapel."

Torre was thrown from the back of a 4-x-4 pickup truck Sunday night during an off-roading trip. He was riding in the back with another teenage boy who jumped off before the truck rolled over on top of Torre. The incident comes as a shock to the island's off-roading community.

James Martinez has more than 30 years of experience on the trails and encourages safety first, saying, "Never absolutely let anyone ride without a harness or not secured to the seat, like standing the back or sitting the back of a pickup truck, because you be only going five miles an hour which is way slower than highway speed but its still dangerous because you never know if you fall into a huge hole that would eventually make or force your vehicle to roll over and the then the passengers in the back are not secured and fastened can actually fall off to the side and get crushed by the vehicle."

Martinez urges those who are new to the sport to always wear a helmet, bring extra water and tools in the event of a mechanical and engine failure, and never off road alone.

Safety is also the premise behind the introduction of a bill that would completely ban people from riding in the back of pickup trucks. The legislation has had its public hearing and was introduced by Senator Mana Silva Taijeron, who said, "I think it's a very tragic event, my heart and prayers are with the family during this tragedy, I'll let the bill speak for itself."

In the meantime, homicide investigators did question the driver of the truck. Police have not released further information to date regarding the case, and no arrests have been made.

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