ROYSE CITY, TX (07/05/2014) — A tragic story out of North Texas again raises the issue of ATV safety. 11-Year-Old Keylee Latham is in critical condition after suffering severe burns following an ATV accident.
It was supposed to be a time for celebration, but this past 4th of July weekend proved tragic for one North Texas family. On July 5th, 11-year-old Keylee Latham (Martin’s Mill, TX) and three friends took an ATV out to drop off trash in a nearby dumpster. On the way, the ATV flipped over and pinned Keylee Latham underneath. One of her friends ran and notified a man in a nearby house, but he was unable to immediately free her from the ATV. According to Latham’s aunt, Gloria McCoy, “That man came and tried to free her from the ATV, and at this point he couldn’t, so he decided, from my understanding, to get his vehicle and try to hook to it and roll it off her. While he was trying to figure out how to do that, it exploded and caught fire.” Keylee Latham’s small frame was engulfed in flames.
The man was able to free the girl from the ATV and worked to pat out the flames and carry her to safety. Her father rushed to her side minutes later and fought to keep her conscious. According to McCoy’s understanding, Latham suffered 3rd and 4th-degree burns from the waist down, and 2nd and 3rd-degree burns to her arms. She also lost a toe and may lose her legs below the knee. Infection is also almost certain. Keylee Latham will find out if she’ll be able to keep her legs, and will undergo a second surgery soon. She is currently in critical condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital’s burn unit with 3rd degree burns on 51% of her body.
Latham, who is in 6th grade, is expected to remain in the burn unit for 3-4 months. After which, she will need physical therapy. Keylee’s dad is self-employed as a heavy machinery mechanic who doesn’t have medical insurance.
“I want people to know that life can change in an instant,’ said McCoy. “The lives of your children can change in an instant.”