Firm pleads guilty to go-kart death failings
- 25 October 2013
- From the section Cambridgeshire
The company in charge of a Cambridgeshire raceway where a teenager died in a go-karting accident has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules.
Suzanne Cornwell, 18, from Hardwick, died after her scarf became entangled in a kart in December 2009.
Peterborough Raceway Ltd and the manager at the time, Paul Shinn, both pleaded guilty to safety breaches.
They will be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on 4 November.
Miss Cornwell's scarf became tangled in the axle of her kart on 10 December while she was taking part in an out-of-hours go-karting session.
The East of England Ambulance Service said at the time the teenager had suffered "critical" neck injuries and was unconscious when paramedics arrived.
She died in Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, the following day.
Following a police investigation and inquest, South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) prosecuted the firm under health and safety legislation.
Investigators said the company had not carried out effective health and safety risk assessments and its staff were poorly trained.
There were not enough track marshals on duty and the safety briefings they provided to the public were inadequate, the council said.
In addition, the premises and equipment were "generally in a poor condition".
Mick Martin, SCDC's cabinet member for environmental services, described Miss Cornwell's death as a "tragic accident".
He added: "There were very clear shortcomings from the company in their practices."
Peterborough Raceway Ltd closed the track in Caxton after the accident and no longer operates the site.