Maddie Turk’s tragic tale from Cabo

Maddie Turk tells her dramatic spring break story of blood, sweat, tears, and all-terrain vehicles.

Senior Maddie Turk smiles through the pain of sunburn and her ATV accident.

Photo Courtesy of Maddie Turk's Dad

Senior Maddie Turk smiles through the pain of sunburn and her ATV accident.

Maddie Turk, Staff Writer

When I go on spring break, I’m never content to just sit and relax at the beach. I like to go out and try something I’ve never done before. This year, that adventure was all-terrain vehicle driving. I was down in Cabo San Lucas, a desert landscape on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The ATV course was about a thirty-minute drive from our resort. When we got there, several employees started to gear us up with bandanas around our mouths, goggles, and helmets. One worker pulled my family and me over to the ATVs to explain how to operate the vehicles.

For a Mexican man whose first language was Spanish, he spoke faster English than I did, explaining to us in under two minutes how to drive the ATVs, sending us off to the line of ATVs immediately after.

I couldn’t even start the ATV on my own, so that was a great start. We started driving off down the road, with a guide in front. It had only been maybe five minutes before my accident.

Apparently, when you drive an ATV, you’re not supposed to shift gears while accelerating. However, because I hadn’t caught a word of the explanation on how to drive an ATV, I did not know this. The only thing I picked up from my two- minute explanation was that if the engine makes noise then shift up a gear. That’s what I did… while holding onto the acceleration causing my ATV to veer off the road and directly into a bush.

But this wasn’t any normal bush. This bush had no leaves, no flowers, nothing but sharp, pointy, vindictive branches. Time slowed down as my poor ATV and I hurtled towards this devil bush, and I just knew that this was going to hurt.

My entire right arm was covered in these long scratches. Not deep, but they were long and wicked looking. Somehow, even though literally all of my face was covered, I managed to get scratched on my eye and forehead, the evil little branches prying up underneath my goggles just because they hated me that much. But the worst injury of all was a giant egg sized bump/bruise on my knee. It’s been over a week, and I still can’t kneel down for fear of dying from pain.

By the time I got back to school, I had formulated several well-coordinated lies to hide my own sad accident. My personal favorite was the one where I had gotten into a fight with a drug lord. Another good one was where I had been bitten by a shark in the ocean. Sadly, no one believed either of these because unfortunately, everyone knows that driving an ATV into a bush over spring break is exactly something I would do.