6-year-old killed in ATV wreck

LANCASTER -- A 6-year-old girl was killed while driving an all-terrain vehicle across a Lancaster County highway, authorities said.

Creigan Steele, who would have turned 7 on Thursday, died at a hospital Sunday afternoon about an hour after the accident, Lancaster County Coroner Mike Morris said Monday.

Steele was not wearing a helmet while driving the ATV near S.C. 903, about 12 miles east of Lancaster, Highway Patrol Cpl. Bryan McDougald said.

On 2:25 p.m. on Sunday, Steele drove her ATV four-wheeler in front of a 2000 Chevrolet 4-door vehicle. The driver, Tiffany Thomas, slammed on her brakes but could not stop the car in time, McDougald said.

Two other people were driving four-wheelers behind Steele. They were not hit, McDougald said.

Investigators said Thomas was not speeding. Thomas and the three passengers in her car were not injured.

According to the S.C. Highway Patrol, 33 people have died on York, Chester and Lancaster county roadways this year, compared to 17 deaths by this time last year.

Earlier this year, safety advocates and legislators in South Carolina pushed for a new law that would require children ages 6 to 15 to take a safety course and wear a helmet and goggles while driving an ATV.

That proposal was vetoed by Gov. Mark Stanford because of the difficulty to enforce the law and personal property infringements.

North Carolina passed a law in 2005 prohibiting any child under the age of 8 from operating an ATV.