Joshua Scott Cope, 08-29-07

ATV rollover kills Houston man


Published: August 31, 2007

HOUSTON -- A 21-year-old Houston man died Wednesday night when his all-terrain vehicle rolled over and threw him on a trail adjacent to the Parks Highway, according to Houston police.

Joshua Scott Cope was unresponsive when police arrived, said officer Jason Holmgren. Medics pronounced Cope dead at 10:45 p.m., according to a written police statement.

Cope and a friend were just out for a ride, Houston Police Capt. John Rhyshek said.

Cope's friend was out of ahead of him when Cope's Kawasaki ATV flipped, according to Holmgren. The friend saw a flash of lights from Cope's headlights as the ATV rolled, Holmgren said.

"He turned over his shoulder and saw that there was an accident," Holmgren said, but "didn't really see what happened."

Rhyshek said that evidence at the scene seemed to indicate Cope lost control going down an embankment into a patch of rocks. The ATV flipped into the bushes, leaving Cope to land in the rocks.

Although Cope was wearing a helmet, the state medical examiner who responded told police the cause of death was likely blunt force trauma to the head, Rhyshek said.

An accident investigation is underway; speed and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors, according to Rhyshek.

-- Anchorage Daily News