THE death of a boy, 12, killed riding his bike in Albury last year has been described by a coroner as “purely and simply a tragic accident”.
Coroner Tony Murray has dispensed with holding an inquest into the death of Nicholas Peter Harding.
Mr Murray has outlined the evidence from witnesses which indicates that on September 21 last year, Nic was racing another boy on his bike along a footpath in Wilson Street and looked back over his shoulder to see where he was.
He did not see a four-wheel-drive coming slowly out from a parking area opposite Soden’s Hotel.
“There is no evidence at all that the driver of the four-wheel drive was not driving appropriately for the circumstances,” Mr Murray said.
“Whether or not Nic would not have suffered such severe injuries if he had been wearing a helmet is pure speculation.
“But it certainly would have significantly improved his chances of survival.”
Mr Murray said Albury Police Detective Sen-Constable Jason Irving had thoroughly investigated the death.
There were several witnesses, including the young boys who were with Nic and adults who were near the scene at the time.
“Nearly all the witnesses corroborated the version of events that the boys had been racing,” Mr Murray said.
He said there is every likelihood Nic would have seen the four-wheel-drive in sufficient time to stop if he was not racing and had been looking ahead.
Sen-Constable Irving said the accident happened in a matter of seconds.
A later inspection of the deceased’s bike showed the front and rear brakes both “worked fine”.
The gear selector was in the second of three gears.
“I believe that the driver has shown the degree of care and attention that a reasonable and prudent driver would exercise in the circumstances,” he said.
Mr Murray said there were no suspicious or unusual circumstances which would warrant further investigation in the context of a court hearing.
“I am of the view that an inquest will not lead to any recommendation that would assist with the prevention of future deaths of a similar kind and it does not raise issues of general public health or safety,” he said.