Boy's death proves quads and kids don't mix

A CORONER has found the death of an 11-year-old boy in a 2012 quad bike accident showed why children should not ride motorbikes.

Queensland Deputy Coroner John Lock yesterday found the death of the boy, one of nine the inquest considered, could have been prevented had he been riding an size-appropriate bike.

The court heard not wearing helmets and driving drunk were the other major causes of death in the examples before the court.

Mr Lock found the 11-year-old boy who died after a crash near Toowoomba, on September 15, 2012, lost control on what Mr Lock said was "benign terrain" and died of crush injuries.

Despite his age, the boy, who cannot be named because of a suppression order, was regarded as a competent quad bike driver, although used to driving a smaller bike.

"This is an example of why the overwhelming evidence, from virtually all safety experts, is that children under 16 should not ride adult sized quad bikes, and certainly not when unsupervised," he said.

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Mr Lock found Geoffrey Moore, 51, on a property where he was employed at Grassdale, near Dalby, died when testing a faulty throttle, crashing the bike into a fence.

While it was a policy of the property he was working to wear a helmet, which the court heard Mr Moore regularly followed, he was not wearing one at the time of the crash.

Bowen property manager Gregory Hoare, 43, died after the quad bike he was working on crashed into a barbed wire fence.

While he was wearing a helmet at the time it did not protect him from injury.

Mr Lock said Mr Hoare may not have seen the fence or become distracted before hitting it.

Kingaroy woman Zoe McInnes, 28, was killed in June 2013, driving home from her brother's engagement party only 200m away.

She had been drinking at the party and left the party with a bottle of beer.

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Mr Lock found she was not wearing a helmet, and fell off the bike and suffered head injuries. The bike had some brake problems, and uneven tyre pressure.

"Combined with some degree of alcohol, as well as the fact she had reduced control of the bike, given she had a beer bottle in her hand, all of these factors resulted in her falling in what seemed relatively benign terrain and conditions," he said.

The second phase of the inquest will hear from university researchers, safety experts and industry representatives to look at what recommendations to improve the safety of the bikes. It will begin in November 19.

- APN NEWSDESK



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