Kieran Horn inquest rules quad bike death accidental

Kieran Horn
Image caption The inquest was told Kieran was a keen horse rider

An 11-year-old boy died after the quad bike he was riding crashed in a "rutted" field at a Devon farm, an inquest was told.

Kieran Horn was helping to move an electric fence on his family's farm when the 400cc Suzuki crashed.

He was found by his father Charles in Eight Acre Field at New Venn Farm at Lamerton, near Tavistock in Devon, on 16 March last year.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death at the Exeter inquest.

The hearing at County Hall was told Kieran was an experienced quad bike rider, but he had not been wearing the safety helmet although one was kept for riders at the farm.

In a statement read to the jury, Mr Horn said Kieran had asked to help out after coming home from Lamerton Primary School.

When his son did not return, Mr Horn went to look for him and spotted the quad bike lying on its side.

Kieran was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics a short while later despite efforts to resuscitate him.

His grandfather, Stephen Horn, told the inquest he and his son had taught Kieran how to ride the quad bike and had also been shown a safety video.

He said Kieran had ridden the bike about 50 times, so when he asked to take it out, he had "no hesitation" in letting him do so.

Furrow 'instability'

"I had no reason to be concerned - he drove off in his usual steady way," a statement read to the jury said.

"Kieran was mature beyond his years. He was on the farm working for all his life. I never saw him fooling around. He was well-aware of the risks with quad bikes and farm machinery."

PC Philip Rowan-Smith, from Devon and Cornwall Police, who examined the crash site, said marks in a furrow could have been made by Kieran as he rode in the field.

"If the mark was caused by the quad bike it would appear it was following the edge of the furrow, which could have caused an instability," he said.

Exeter and Greater Devon Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland said it had been a distressing day for the Horns and she had "great sympathy" for the family.

After the inquest a spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said no final decision has been taken about a possible prosecution.

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