Halifax District RCMP are investigating a fatal ATV crash that occurred Saturday near Dean, N.S.

RCMP say at 6:10 a.m. Saturday, they received a 911 call about a single ATV collision on a trail near Dean.

Officers responded to the call with the assistance of the Upper Musquodoboit Volunteer Fire Department. The driver of the ATV, a 54-year-old man from Upper Musquodoboit, was pronounced dead at the scene.

RCMP say their investigation revealed that at approximately 11 p.m. on Friday, two men were riding a side-by-side ATV on a trail.

During a turn the ATV overturned and the driver was pinned beneath the vehicle, while the passenger was ejected. The passenger, a 47-year-old man from Upper Kennetcook, walked for a number of hours from the trail to a roadway, where he reported the collision to a passing motorist.

The passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries and was treated by EHS.

RCMP have not said if speed, alcohol or other outside agents played a role in the accident, as they continue to investigate.

But local ATV club members are taking the tragic news as a reminder to riders of why safety measures are so important.

“Even if you’re driving as smart as you can, there’s still always a chance that something’s going to happen, and these roads are gravel,” says ATV rider James Stone. “I’m a paramedic by trade and I’ve seen quite a few ATV related injuries and know what can happen.”

ATV riding is gaining in popularity in the Maritimes, but riders are encouraged to explore the trails safely. For many riders, helmets are the first step.

“You have to wear a helmet,” says Corey Osborne, Vice President of the Beaverbank ATV Club. “No alcohol, no drugs, basically everything you need in a car.”

With all-terrain vehicle trails all over the Maritimes, Osborne says it pays to slow down, and enjoy the scenery and the ride.

“If you’re out there and you’re trying to enjoy the trails and enjoy the province, you’re not going to see anything over 50 km per hour,” says Osborne.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.