The Coroner’s report has now been released concerning the tragic death of John Warren earlier this year.
Mr Warren fell from his mountain bike on 7 February whilst cycling a newly formed trail in Te Mata Park. He died later that day at Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital in Hastings.
The Coroner’s Report states that the evidence available indicates that the cause of death was a result of chest injuries sustained in a mountain biking incident.
“The Trust wish to offer our sincere condolences and sympathy to all members of John’s family and especially to John’s wife, Shannon,” comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident. The Trust are taking all appropriate steps to extensively evaluate the incident and the environment in which it occurred.”
“The Coroner’s Report does recommend that Te Mata Park Trust undertake an audit to determine the safety of the track where the incident took place,” comments Mr. Devonshire.
Consequently, Te Mata Park Trust contracted a well regarded and reputable national outdoor safety company, Peak Safety & Emergency Management, to undertake a comprehensive review of the track.
“The review resulted in an assessment of the track as low risk when cycling uphill and medium risk when cycling downhill,” comments Mr Devonshire.
The Peak Safety review recommended further potential risk mitigation strategies; a barrier at the top of the track, and very clear signage. The review found a barrier fence was not required on the trail. “These recommendations were promptly implemented,” adds Mr. Devonshire.
“Following the incident, the Trustees also organised a full safety review of all walking and biking trails within the Park,” says Mr. Devonshire.
The Trust, together with Hastings District Council, worked closely with Peak Safety & Emergency Management to assess the overall hazards and risk mitigation strategies within Te Mata Park.
“We are in the process of implementing recommendations from this wider safety review with the assistance of Hastings District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council,” comments Mr. Devonshire.