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One girl in ATV wreck at home

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Driver still in hospital

Victoria Brown’s 8th birthday celebration will be one to remember, but for bittersweet reasons.

Brown was the driver and one of the then two 7-year-old girls airlifted to Shands Hospital after an all-terrain vehicle they were riding the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 7, in Chatmire, collided with a sports utility vehicle, throwing both of the victims from the ATV, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to Brown’s mother, Courtney, her daughter remains in Shands, recovering from surgery on her leg, multiple broken bones and myriad of other issues related to the wreck.

“She’s doing a lot better,” her mother said, noting Monday was her 8th birthday. “We all came in Monday and said, ‘Happy birthday.’ She was a little upset at the time, she wants to be at home.”

How long Victoria remains in Shands isn’t certain, Courtney Brown said.

“They’re moving her to another room; her leg injury was pretty bad. She’s coming along.”

Courtney said she’s holding up.

“I have to be strong for her,” she added. “She really wants to go home.

“Otherwise, we’re doing pretty well. She’s a strong little girl. Tell everyone to keep praying for her.”

The other girl in the wreck, Layla Cox, 7, is home and recovering from a gash on her leg as well as bumps and bruises, according to her mother, Hope Cox. Layla was released from Shands Hospital over the weekend.

“Layla is going to be home for a little bit,” her mother, Hope, said Tuesday morning, noting her daughter is using a walker to aid her while her leg recovers. “She is getting better, stronger every day. She had a big gash on her leg and a lot of scrapes and bruises. She’s alive and strong.”

Brown was airlifted in critical condition while Cox was transported in serious condition, according to the FHP report. Marion County Fire Rescue crews were dispatched at 6:17 p.m. and arrived at 6:22 p.m., according to MCFR spokesman James Lucas. Rescue personnel called for a trauma alert at 6:29, asking for two helicopters.

A landing zone was created in open field next to Wendy’s, Lucas said. The first ShandsCair helicopter arrived at 6:45, taking off at 7:05, Lucas added, while the second helicopter arrived at 6:54 and lifted off at 7:07 p.m.

According to the report, a 2002 Buick Rendezvous, driven by Leshaun Gunter, was traveling northbound on Southwest 198th Terrace when the ATV attempted to cross the roadway from east to west and drove into the Buick’s path. The front of the Buick struck the ATV, which spun clockwise and overturned onto its right side.

The report stated neither of the girls were wearing helmets. Gunter was not injured in the crash.

Charges are pending, according to the report, as the crash remains under investigation.