ATV rolls over, kills 8-year-old driving solo without a helmet, Polk deputies say

An 8-year-old boy was killed in an ATV crash in the River Ranch area Saturday, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. 

It happened just before 7 p.m. at 18550 Highway 630 East, which is located in an unincorporated part of eastern Polk County.

Deputies say 8-year-old Jace McLaughlin from Pembroke Pines was driving a Honda TRX 680 ATV by himself when it overturned and landed on top of him.

The crash happened in a wooded area, near a sandy trail with an elevated embankment on each side, according to witnesses and evidence at the scene.

Investigators say Jace was driving on the trail with a group of other riders when he tried to negotiate a curve and lost control.

He was ejected from the ATV and the front left side of the vehicle rolled on top of him before coming to a final rest.

Members of his group, including his mother, Kathryn Brown-McLaughlin, got Jace out from underneath the ATV, but his injuries were severe.

Due to the remote area of the crash, Jace's mother had to take him to a front gate of the River Ranch area to meet Polk County Fire Rescue.

Jace was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando where he succumbed to his injuries. Deputies say Jace was not wearing any protective gear or a helmet.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.