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Published August 17, 2010, 07:39 AM

ATV deaths on the rise across Minn.; toll hits 16

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Officials are concerned about a recent rise in all-terrain vehicle deaths in Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Officials are concerned about a recent rise in all-terrain vehicle deaths in Minnesota.

Sixteen people have died in ATV accidents across Minnesota this year. That compares with 14 for all of 2009. A record 24 occurred in 2004.

The last was Aug. 1 in Carver County, a 49-year-old man with no formal ATV safety training. The Department of Natural Resources says that's common to all ATV fatalities this year.

Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Safety Education coordinator, says it's hard to draw conclusions on why fatalities are up. But he says people are operating ATVs beyond their capabilities.

Anyone born after July 1, 1987, must complete the DNR's safety course available on CD before driving an ATV. But Hammer recommends that all ATV riders take it.

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