Sadly this week we learned that Maddie, the 8-year-old daughter of Jamie Lynn Spears was critically injured in an ATV (all terrain vehicle) accident. The crash occurred on the family property in Kenwood, Louisiana just 100 yards from her mom and step father, Jamie Watson.

According to reports, Maddie was driving the ATV and had to make a sudden sharp turn to avoid a ditch. This caused the vehicle to flip landing in a pond with Maddie submerged under water. Spears and Watson rushed to Maddie, but couldn’t get her out of her seat belt resulting in her being under water for several minutes.

The ATV Maddie was driving was a Polaris. The vehicle instruction manual states that no child under 10 years old should operate or be a passenger, but it’s not uncommon for people to ignore these instructions. According to the website of Marietta, GA personal injury attorneys Clay & Starrett LLC, over 93,700 people were treated in emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries in 2014 alone.

Riding and driving ATVs is a popular pastime for teens and young adults across rural America, but it’s important to recognize the inherent danger that comes along with this activity. ATVs have been plagued with rollover issues since they first became popular. Although there are very few companies that manufacture the rollover prone 3-wheel ATVs any longer, 4-wheel versions are still easy to flip, as was the case with Maddie.

The latest reports say Maddie is in critical, but stable condition. Hopefully she will make a full and quick recovery, but this tragic accident serves as an important reminder for parents that severe accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.