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Missing ATV Rider Found Dead Along S.R. 60 In East Lake Wales

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Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

22-year-old Boca Raton man dies in early morning ATV crash in River Ranch area in Southeast Polk County


On the afternoon of New Year’s day, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a missing person who had last been seen riding an ATV early New Year’s day around 3:00 a.m. A search for 22-year-old Matthew Ryan McGrath of Boca Raton was initiated.

At around 5:40 p.m. an off duty Frostproof Fireman saw an ATV on its side in a water filled ditch along the 19000 block of SR 60. A person was trapped underneath the ATV, deceased. PCSO responded to this location and determined the crashed ATV matched the description of one operated by Mr. McGrath and they positively identified Mr. McGrath.

The investigation indicates that Matthew R. McGrath was operating a 2019, Green Can Am ATV, westbound in a shallow ditch that runs parallel along the south side of SR 60. As the ATV travelled west, it drove off a slight drop off into a water filled portion of the ditch. The ATV flipped onto its right side, ejecting Mr. McGrath into approximately 18 inches of water.

The ATV landed on top of him, trapping him underneath. The ditch sits about 30 feet south of SR 60 and approximately 6 feet below the road. Mr. McGrath was not wearing a helmet or other protective equipment at the time of the crash. The ATV was equipped with lights. The cause and manner of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office.

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