Two girls hospitalized with serious injuries after ATV crash

COLUMBIA — Two girls were taken to University Hospital after a severe all-terrain vehicle crash on Thursday afternoon.

According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report, Maura Vanskyike, 12, was driving a 2014 Honda Rancher on Old Route A with Lexi Benedict, 9, as a passenger. The accident occurred when Maura over-corrected the vehicle while negotiating a curve, causing the ATV to overturn and throw both her and Lexi from the vehicle.

Maura was flown by helicopter to University Hospital, and Lexi was taken by ambulance after the Highway Patrol received a report of the crash at 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

Jennifer Coffman, spokeswoman for University of Missouri Health Care*, said Saturday morning that Maura was in fair condition and Lexi had been discharged.

Neither girl was wearing a helmet or a seat belt when the crash happened, Highway Patrol Trooper Nicholas March, who was dispatched to the scene, said. March said the ATV lacked seat belts.

It was unclear whether parents were watching the girls operating the ATV. March said parents were at the site of the accident when he got there, but he was unsure whether the girls were being supervised.

March said the accident remained under investigation.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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