3 Dec 2013

Teen died riding quad bike for first time

7:46 pm on 3 December 2013

A coroner has found that a South Otago teenager killed when his quad bike went off a cliff had never ridden one before.

Rowan Parker, 16, died on Boxing Day in 2012 while visiting a friend's farm in the Catlins.

Coroner David Crerar says the evidence shows that the teen had his first try on a two-wheeled motorbike that day, then switched to a quad bike when riding around the farm.

When his friend's hat blew off he tried to retrieve it on the quad bike, but slipped on sloping grass, slid over the cliff edge and dropped at least 150 metres onto rocks.

Mr Crerar says previous coroners' recommendations about quad bike safety would not have helped Rowan Parker, as it was only his inexperience that led to his death.