A GoFundMe account set up as a memorial family fund for an Arkansas woman who died Saturday after an ATV accident had collected almost $36,000 Monday night.
Erin Duncan, 22, of Elkins, Arkansas, was a spectator at the Str8 Up SxS Hill Climb Competition at Stony Lonesome OHV Park Saturday. She was reportedly struck by a RZR that flipped, also killing Lawrence Richey, 34, of Smith's Grove, Kentucky, and injuring others.
Rickey was pronounced dead at the scene while Duncan later died at Walker Baptist Hospital, according to Cullman County Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick.
The "Erin Duncan Family Memorial" posted online had raised $35,725, as of 8:30 p.m. Monday, surpassing its $25,000 goal.
"Anyone who knew Erin, knows she had biggest heart and smile. She loved her family, her friends and the outdoor life," the page, created by Steve Iseler, states.
Another fund has been established for reportedly another injured spectator, Jennifer Benson, who is at UAB Hospital being treated for critical injuries. It was set up to help with expenses for Benson's family while they are with her in Birmingham and to take care of her children while she is receiving treatment, according to the YouCaring post.
As of 8 p.m. Monday, $16,080 had been raised toward the $25,000 goal. No other funds had been publicized Monday night.
As a result of the accident, Stony Lonesome OHV Park will remain closed through Wednesday.
The Times was unable Monday to confirm specific details about the accident, including the names of the other individuals injured and their medical conditions.
Witnesses at the scene report a competitor's vehicle ascended a hill before losing control and flipping into spectators.
In a prepared statement Monday evening, Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker offered the commission’s condolences to the victims.
“On behalf of the Cullman County Commission, we would like to thank each of the citizens and patrons who have reached out with comforting words to the staff of the Stony Lonesome OHV Park during this difficult period. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who passed on Saturday, as well as the other individuals who were injured,” Walker said.
County Attorney Chad Floyd said an internal investigation is underway into the accident. It’s unclear if the accident will be addressed at County Commission's regular meeting Tuesday morning at 10.
Floyd said a Cullman County Sheriff's investigator took witness statements and photos at the accident scene.
This isn't the first time visitors have been hurt at Stony Lonesome.
Two people were hurt in two separate ATV accidents in October 2015, and a Cullman County woman was hurt in another ATV accident at the park in July 2015.
The park rules advise visitors to stay on marked trails and obey all signs, gates and barriers. Its rules also state the park is not liable for any injury to visitors, and visitors are required to sign a legal waiver.
A motorcyclist filed a lawsuit against Stony Lonesome, Cullman County Parks and Recreation and the Cullman County Commission in November 2014 after he claimed he suffered injuries after being hit by a vehicle driven by a park employee.
In the suit, the man claimed a park employee drove a vehicle onto the track during a Hare Scramble race on Nov. 17 2012 and collided with him on a motorcycle. He alleged he suffered injuries to his left arm and wrist which required surgery and are now permanent, causing him to lose future income.
His suit claimed the park failed to provide adequate fences, gates and other restraints to protect race participants from being struck by vehicles not participating in a race but traveling on the track. The outcome of the suit was not available Monday.
In 2014, the County Commission approved lowering the required liability insurance, from $2 million to $1 million, for groups holding events at county parks. The county attorney at the time, Heath Meherg, said groups putting on events had problems obtaining $2 million in insurance, and several chose not to put on events because of the requirement.
“People can get the $1 million insurance more easily so we should be able to get more events coming into our parks,” Meherg said at the time.
Meherg said events held at the Stony Lonesome should probably require higher insurance due to the sometimes dangerous nature of the events, like off-road and ATV rides.
Stony Lonesome is the state’s first publicly-owned OHV park of its kind. Open year-round, the nearly 1,500-acre park features trails for ATVs, rock crawlers, dirt bikes, mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers.
Stony Lonesome is slated to reopen Thursday, according to a post on the County Commission's Facebook page.