Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Man killed in ATV rollover


November 28, 2019

A 33-year-old Sioux Falls area man lost his life earlier this month in an ATV accident on Rifle Pit Road. Scott Gackle appears to have been returning to his hunting camp at the end of the day when the single-vehicle crash took place.

“He was in the area deer hunting with some others in a group,” says Deputy Eric Stevens, who investigated the incident.

The crash was reported just after midnight on November 13. The group went into Sundance to eat dinner in one vehicle, then returned to the ranch house to pick up their ATVs and head back to the hunting camp.

“The group had left the main ranch house and was heading for the hunting camp and it had been about 15 or 20 minutes. The victim was the last one to leave the main house and when he didn’t turn up at the hunting camp, someone went out to look for him,” Stevens says.

“He was traveling east on Rifle Pit Rd at about milepost 10 and the area he was headed to has a [forked] entrance. When he got to just about perpendicular to where the fire marker is on the fence post, he apparently applied the brakes. That’s where the tire tracking gets heavy and indicates he was braking.”

At this point, says Stevens, the 700 Yamaha appears to have rapidly decelerated.

“In terms of body proportions compared to a car, it’s going to be much shorter so the center of gravity is a little different. As it decelerated, its back end slid out to the left a little bit,” says Stevens.

“The left rear tire picked up, so the vehicle was starting to go into a front-to-back roll, but it was slightly off center to the left. The front tire came off the roadway and there was a crescent shaped indentation in the roadway from that wheel as it dug in.”

The vehicle became airborne at that point. The handlebars hit the roadway as the ATV landed at an angle, followed by the cargo box. The ATV came to rest on its side in the borrow ditch, facing back in the direction from which it came.

“According to the person who found the crash scene, the victim’s upper legs were pinned under the ATV,” Stevens says. “He was not responsive.”

The person who found the crash scene began CPR, but was unsuccessful in reviving the victim.

“There is nothing to indicate that there was any mechanical issue with the vehicle, I inspected it afterwards. There was no indication from the tracks that he swerved to avoid anything in the road,” says Stevens.

“It appeared that he decelerated too quickly and that’s what caused him to lose control. He was reported to have been an experienced rider so at this point it appears to be driver error.”

Toxicology reports were requested from the coroner’s office but the results have not yet been received.


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