Two Arizona families are suing Polaris on wrongful death charges after two women died in an ATV accident in Moab, a popular off-roading location a few hours southeast of Provo. The ATV, a Ranger 800 model, caught fire and burned the two women to death after it tipped over. The sheriff’s investigators determined the cause of the fire to be a broken fuel neck that hit the ground and broke when the ATV tipped.
The attorney, Eric Olsen, said that 28-year-old Destiny Dixon and 51-year-old Debbie Swann were burned to death before they could remove their seatbelts. “Right before [friends] could get there, it burst into flames and there was nothing they could do. Everybody who was with Debbie and Destiny had to watch them burn to death,” he said in a statement.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer has filed three lawsuits against Polaris for problems with their ATVs. The other two lawsuits involved people who were also burned but survived.
Polaris has been issuing recalls on their vehicles. About 51,000 vehicles have been recalled because of a heat shield that can fall off and cause fires, which led to 13 reported incidents and five reported fires. Another recall was for 3,800 ATVs that have a problem with their electronic power steering that can be a crash hazard.
Polaris responded to the wrongful death charges with a statement that the “investigation and all available information confirms that the accident was not caused by any defect… The accident in this case took place in an area commonly referred to as Tip-Over Challenge, a highly technical and extreme riding area.”
The lawyer’s firm has a separate page dedicated to Polaris vehicle files that includes links to several recent recalls of their ATVs. This wrongful death suit is filed in Minnesota, the location of Polaris’ headquarters.