RECORD OF INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH
Coroners Act 1995
Coroners Regulations 1996
I, Peter Henric Wilson, Coroner, having investigated a death of
"a young boy"
WITHOUT HOLDING AN INQUEST
FIND THAT :
"The deceased"died on the 4th February 2007 at the North West Regional Hospital Burnie.
I find that the deceased died as a result of a head injury following a bicycle collision with a motor vehicle.
At the time of the deceased person’s death he was not being treated by a medical practitioner.
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH : -
"The deceased" was an eight year old boy, and loving son. "the deceased" rode regularly around the Burnie area where he lived."The deceasedwas known locally and was seen regularly with his friends riding their bikes.
At about 12:45pm on Sunday 4th February 2007 Mr B, who had been servicing "the deceased's" motorbike telephoned the residence to say it was ready for collection. Mr B told "the deceased" he would take him down to collect the motorbike but he would be a couple of minutes."The deceased"was excited about the motorbike being ready. Mr "B" recalls;
"The deceased" said he would ride his bike down and meet me there. He made sure he had his helmet on. We (my wife and I) told him to make sure he rode on the foot path and to stop at Collins Street and walk across the road. "The deceased" has ridden around this area for the past 4-5 years we have lived here. We take the kids to the Brooklyn Primary School and Romaine Park. "The deceased" had quite good road sense. He knew to stop and look both ways before crossing and not to speed.
However there is evidence before me that "the deceased" would at times ride on the roads near his house in an unsafe manner. One witness states;
I was driving up Exhibition Street towards Spencer Street when I saw 'the deceased" riding his bike down Exhibition Street towards Spencer Street. "The deceased" was going quite fast and he was in the middle of the road. "The deceased's" manner of riding caused me some concern and I moved further to the left and braked, but not harshly.
"The deceased"was to ride his bicycle from his home turning into Exhibition Street, a downhill street with a give way sign at the crossing of Collins Street, then a right turn into Swanston Street to theresidence. This was an approximate total distance of 620 metres.
"The deceased" set off on a blue Huffy mountain bike wearing a black helmet, but not wearing his glasses. "The deceased" travelled down Exhibition Street and as he went to cross Collins Street against the give way sign he has collided with the left front panels of a Toyota Hilux. This crash has caused the death. The give way sign and road markings were clear and unobstructed.The driveris well known within the community for his slow and careful driving.
Doctor Christopher Lawrence, the Forensic Pathologist, reports;
Autopsy reveals massive and unsurvivable head injuries with a basal skull fracture and pontomedullary laceration which would cause rapid death. The injuries are massive and unsurvivable.
Rendal Rockliffe a transport inspector, comments;
The motor vehicle was in an unroadworthy condition due to a frayed seatbelt, this did not contribute to the crash. The bicycle appeared to be in a roadworthy condition prior to the crash.
COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS :
Immediately prior to the crash "the deceased" was an 8 year old boy, excited about the impending return of his motorbike. "The deceased" has ridden on the roadway and neglected to give way at the intersection of Exhibition and Collins Streets, the failure of which has caused him to fatally collide with a Toyota Hilux utility. I find the driver of the Toyota Hilux, Danny Keygan, through his actions did not contribute to the cause of the crash.
This incident tragically highlights the need for parents to be ever vigilant in the supervision of their children, particularly when the child is of a young age and preoccupied with other thoughts, in this case the return of a motorbike. This is a poignant reminder of the dangers associated with children using our roadways.
Before I conclude this matter, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.
This matter is now concluded.
DATED : Thursday, 3rd May 2007 at Launceston in the state of Tasmania.