(02/11/14) - A sledding accident in Lapeer County has left a little boy badly hurt. It happened Monday night on Slattery Road in North Branch Township.
It's a hard day for many families in a rural community in northern Lapeer County.
"It's very difficult, it's very tragic, it's a horrible set of circumstances," said Det. Sgt. Jason Parks, of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department.
According to the accident report, two brothers, ages 8 and 10, were on sleds being pulled by an ATV driven by their 15-year-old brother. At around 5 p.m., they were going north over a hill on Slattery Road - a Ford pickup truck was headed south, toward them.
"The sleds were within the roadway, the quad runner was off to the side. The driver immediately tried breaking and steering his vehicle. The vehicle did not respond. Kept on going in a straight line and subsequently struck the quad and one of the children on the sled," Parks said.
Eight-year-old James McNees was the child who was hit.
"They were right here in front of their residence and we started getting 911 calls from the driver of the truck and family members seeking emergency assistance," Parks said.
McNees was taken to Lapeer McLaren Region and later transported to Hurley Medical Center.
Officers classify his injuries as life-threatening. His two brothers are physically OK. The 47-year-old pickup driver was not injured.
Parks says the brothers were well known with many friends. Grief counselors were at all north branch schools on Tuesday.
"It's really difficult with everyone involved because it's such a tragic event with someone who is so young," Parks said.
Parks says speed is not believed to be a factor in the accident.
However, he does say off-road vehicles are highly dangerous on roadways. He urges people to keep them off the roads and drive with caution
ABC12 Main Station