Polk County Sheriff’s Office Press Release
On 12/26/2017, at approximately 1532 hours the PCSO Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a 911 call regarding an ATV crash. A man driving in the River Ranch Hunt Club property had discovered an ATV with an adult male trapped underneath. The victim was not breathing. Polk County Fire and PCSO responded to the scene.They arrived & determined the driver of the ATV was deceased.
It took approximately 30-40 minutes to travel to the scene, which was approximately 5.5 miles east southeast of the Hunt Club entrance. The area has numerous dirt roads and the terrain alternates between sand and swamp across the property.
Interviews and evidence at the scene indicate that 51-year-old Benito Berson of Pomano Beach had been riding his ATV, a Green Honda TRX680FA, with other people in the River Ranch Hunt Club property earlier in the day. It appears as if Berson was traveling alone, north on a dirt road near the area known as “burnt bridge.” As the ATV was negotiating a right hand curve, Berson appears to have lost control in soft sand. The ATV rolled over in a “high side” roll, ejecting Berson. The ATV appears to have made one complete roll, coming to rest right side up, on top of Berson,
Bystanders who had observed Berson earlier in the day were riding through the area when they found him, pushed the ATV off him, and began CPR.
Berson was not wearing any protective gear at the time of the crash, to include a helmet. No charges are anticipated, but the investigation is ongoing.