28 Mar 2013

Inquest hears quad bike rider jammed against fence

10:38 pm on 28 March 2013

The Northland Coroner has heard a woman killed in a quad bike crash was found by her elderly mother, trapped between the machine and a fence.

The inquest into the death of farmer Suzanne Ferguson in August 2010 is the third in a series of quad bike fatalities in the north.

The inquest heard on Thursday that Suzanne Ferguson, 62, set out on her quad bike with a trailer load of hay to feed her stock after heavy rain.

When she failed to return, her mother, who was in her eighties, walked up the track to find her.

She found her daughter down a steep slope, pinned between the upturned quad bike and the bottom wire of an electric fence.

Ms Ferguson died of asphyxiation.

A safety inspector, Phil Bailey said skid marks suggested Ms Ferguson hadn't been able to get the bike over the crest of a hill and may have been reversing down to try again when her trailer jack-knifed.

He said she was an experienced rider but the bike's tyres were worn and the grass was wet.