UPDATE 2: Athens ATV collision turns deadly
ATHENS, McMINN COUNTY (WRCB) -- Channel 3 is learning about the victims of an ATV crash in Athens Thursday night that claimed the life of an EMT and left two others in critical condition.
The crash happened on Highway 305. Friends and family members have only good things to say about 22-year-old Zachary Shultz. He was an EMT and volunteer firefighter who loved to ride. The accident happened not far from his home.
"After you know it's family, the first thing you think is, 'Oh my God'," says relative, Amy Parker.
When Parker first saw the crash site on State Route 305 she had no idea her cousin, 22-year-old Zachary Shultz, was involved.
Parker was curious enough to get out of her car to find out more and that's when she saw the crushed ATV.
"We have four-wheelers ourselves," Parker says. "It makes you think twice about letting anybody on a four-wheeler again."
Tennessee Highway Patrol Spokeswoman Dalya Qualls says two all terrain vehicles collided around 6:30 p.m.
The accident happened near County Road 220. Qualls says Shultz and 19-year-old Dylan Eichenberger were the drivers. She says Shultz rear-ended the second ATV and all four riders were ejected.
A helicopter airlifted three of the four victims to Erlanger. Sadly, Shultz did not survive.
"All the family is in prayer," Parker says. "It's just tragic."
Shultz began working for the McMinn County Rescue Squad at 16 years old, eventually becoming an EMT and also serving as a volunteer firefighter.
Friends and family members say he often went riding near his home.
Qualls says no citations were issued and Shultz died from his injuries Friday afternoon.
She says none of the riders were wearing helmets.