Child identified in fatal ATV accident

Christopher Stamey (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Christopher Stamey (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The coroner's office is identifying the toddler who was tragically killed in an ATV crash earlier this month.

According to Horry County Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard, 21-month-old Mason Stamey died April 6 as a result of head injuries sustained in an ATV crash.

The incident occurred on Pee Dee Highway and a Conway man is behind bars facing charges in the child's death.

Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesperson for the Horry County Police Department, said 27-year-old Christopher Eugene Stamey of Conway was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the accident that ultimately killed the toddler.

Officers with the Violent Crimes Section of the Horry County Police Department launched an investigation following the accident. It revealed that Stamey was riding on an ATV on private property with the young child.

Kegler said the charges stem from the fact that officers learned the boy was not wearing a helmet, which is a violation of Chandler's Law. It governs the use of ATVs for children under the age of 16.

When the ATV flipped, the child suffered severe head trauma, Kegler said, and remained in serious condition until pronounced dead on April 6, after which warrants were sought for Stamey's arrest.

Stamey turned himself in to police Monday at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, but is now out on bond.

Neighbors in the rural Conway community where the accident happened are taking up for Stamey, who many say police shouldn't have charged.

"I don't think he should have to go through this. I don't think his family should have to go through this. I think he was just playing with the baby," said Geneva Hunter, a Stamey family friend.

Others admit Stamey should have never had the child on the ATV in the first place.

"The father should have know better because they do tell you when you buy an ATV that they have to be five or six before you put them on there with a helmet," said neighbor Shannon Castille.

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