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As summer vacation kicks into gear, more Michigan residents will be taking to the trails on ATVs and off-road vehicles. The recent death of Kid Rock’s assistant, Michael Sacha, provides a grisly reminder that no matter what the vehicle, drunk driving should never be an option.
On April 25, 2016, Kid Rock and his staff called Nashville 9-1-1 to report that his assistant, Michael Sacha, had been in an accident. Kid Rock, whose legal name is Robert Ritchie, found Sacha beside his ATV in a ravine on his Whites Creek estate.
Sacha had been transporting guests from a cookout on the property to the property’s driveway where an Uber driver was waiting. He had apparently lost control of the vehicle and gone into a ravine.
Sacha suffered significant injuries to his head and neck and was dead when Kid Rock found him. A later investigation revealed that Sacha’s blood alcohol content was 0.20 – over two times the legal limit in Michigan and Tennessee.
Sacha had significant connections to Michigan. A former Royal Oak resident, he graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2008 and started BuyMichLocal, an online business directory. He also has connections to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News.
With Memorial Day in our rear-view mirrors, summer vacation is in full swing. For many Michigan residents, that means it’s time to break out the ORVs and have some off-road fun. But adding alcohol to that mix can be fatal.
In 2014, over 350 people died from ATV-related crashes. Michigan residents are particularly vulnerable. In a survey of accidents from 1982 to 2008, Michigan was in the Top 10 of states with ATV deaths.
Many of those involve alcohol. From 2004 to 2013, approximately 39% of operators in fatal ATV accidents were legally drunk. Now, Sacha has been added to those ranks.
The members of the Kid Rock family are “beyond devastated” at the loss. Rock issued a statement saying:
“He was a member of our family and one of the greatest young men I have ever had the pleasure to not only work with, but also to become friends with,” Rock said. “I know I speak for us all in sharing my deepest condolences to his family. I cannot imagine how they must feel. Myself, the band, our family, friends and coworkers are devastated over this loss.”
As you take to the trails this summer, take a lesson from Sacha. Leave the alcohol at your campsite. Ride first, then drink – not the other way around. The choices you make against drunk driving, on and off-road, could save your life.
David Christensen is an ATV Accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He can help ORV crash victims get their expenses covered. If you have been seriously injured in an ATV accident, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation.