Fatal quad bike crash in Barellan, NSW, the second tragedy for Connor Irvin’s family

20/01/2019 Posted by admin

Connor Irvin, 7, with his sister, Shenaye, died after he fell off his quad bike. Photo: FacebookThey are the biggest cause of death on Australian farms and, on Monday, claimed yet another life.
Nanjing Night Net

Seven-year-old ConnorIrvin, from the small Riverina wheat town of Barellan, waskilled by a quad bike on Sunday afternoonwhen he turned a sharp corner on his family’s farm and fell off.

He was crushed by the kids’ model bike but anine-year-old family friend who was sitting behind him survived.

Both boys were wearing bicycle helmets and were under supervision, a police spokesman said.

Connor’s family, including twin brother Bailey and parents Mel and Dennis, were watching as the crash unfolded and tried to save the boy’s life, it isunderstood.

“He was a very special, soft boy who loved his twin brother Bailey and his sisterShenaye[and] loved his dad’s farm,” a statement from theIrvinfamily said.

Connor’s death,the108th quad bike deathin six years,hasprompted fresh callsfor the state government to implement a coroner’s 2015 recommendations to make helmets, minimum riding ages and licensingmandatory.

However one of the country’s leading quad bike researchers said the machines overall are too dangerous.

“These machines have a very low stability,” said ProfessorRaphaelGrzebieta,from the Transport and Road Safety Research Centre at the University of NSW.

“They are equivalent to driving a heavilyoverladentruck on a bumpy, undulated terrain. Now would you do that? I don’t think so.

“People should wear helmets, yes. As for licensing, that’s not the causal factor here. The vehicles have a poor design feature, they are unstable when you hit a rock, a stump or a rabbit hole.”

Connor Irvin, right, with twin brother Bailey. Photo: Facebook

It’s understood the bike that killed Connor was a Kanga kids model that did not have any warning stickers on it to reflect the user manual, which states it should not be ridden by anyone aged under 16.

The brochure describes it as an “easy, exciting yet fun way for the kids to get into the four wheel thrill”.

ProfessorGrzebietawas part of a team todevelop safety ratingsfor quad bike models.

“Theyreally need to be ridden by people that have been trained,” he said.

A 2015 inquest into nine NSW quad bike deaths found that most involved roll-over accidents on unstable terrain and that most ridersweren’t wearing helmets.

Deputy State Coroner SharonFreundrecommended the government consider legislationfor mandatory licensing or training, helmets, seat belts, age restrictions and safety ratings.

She found there was apressing need for cultural change among quad bike riders.

However, Fairfax Media understands the state government is keen to stick to itsnon-regulatory approach andfocus on safety awareness.

“We will be implementing a public awareness campaign in the first half of the year that will include information on child safety risks,”said Minister for Better Regulation VictorDominello.”Sunday’s incident is a tragic reminderaboutwhy this work is so important.”

A $2 million rebate package introduced last year offersfarmers $500 to put towards the purchase of compliant helmets.

A coroner found in 2015 that most quad bike deaths were caused by roll overs on unstable terrain. Photo: Peter Stoop

Connor wasone of seven people aged under eightto dieon quad bikes since 2011.

His adult sister,Shenaye,was among several people who posted tributes online, saying:”Fly high my big blue eyed angel… Promise I’ll look after your best mate until you’re together again.”

Another family member posted “No more. Please no more!” as news filtered through of the second death in the family in as many weeks.

The extendedfamily in Barellan were still mourning the death of truck driverMichealIrvin, 29,in a truck crash on January 3.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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