26 Mar 2013

Coroner investigating Northland quad bike deaths

10:31 pm on 26 March 2013

The Northland coroner has begun a series of inquests into a spate of quad bike fatalities in the region.

Three farmers died in quad bike accidents in 2010 within eight weeks of each other.

Coroner Brandt Shortland heard evidence in Whangarei on Tuesday about the accident that killed a Marua farmer, John McInnes, in September 2010.

The 64-year-old failed to come home for dinner and was found by family members face down with a quad bike on top of him on a hillside where he'd been spraying weeds.

Witnesses told the coroner the main factor in the accident was the terrain.

Mr McInnes's neighbour, Merv Rusk, who tried in vain to revive him with CPR, told the coroner there should be an independent authority to evaluate the safety of quad bikes.