The Butchers are flat-road bikers, members of the American Motorcycle Association. But bikes are different, he said. "With a cycle, you can get away from it. Four-wheelers probably should be outlawed all together. It's an awkward thing, big and clumsy."
He preaches the importance of wearing helmets, he said, but he doesn't believe they should be mandatory. "This country was founded for a free people," he said. "Another law added is just another freedom gone."
A mandatory helmet law would unfairly punish parents if a child refused to wear one, he said. "The parent shouldn't bear the responsibility for a kid disobeying. If a kid is killed on a four-wheeler and the law said he had to have a helmet but he left the house without it, then you're looking at prosecution on top of losing a son.
"I've been strict with my boys. I told them 15 minutes before the accident happened that if I caught them doing anything out of the way on the ATV, I would take it away and sell it. But a lot of things you say to kids, they don't take heed."
Tyler's brother saw the accident. "He said Tyler swerved into a yard and went to turn around and rolled over. There was a scratch on his back and his hand, but no other marks anywhere."
The police report said he died of head injuries. "Maybe a helmet would have saved him," Scott Butcher said. "Everyone has their demons, what if this and what if that. What if we'd never bought the ATV?"
To contact staff writer Sandy Wells, use e-mail or call 348-5173.