Anita Jade BOARD

Coronial Inquest into the death of Anita Jade BOARD
Delivered on: 14 August 2019
Delivered at: Perth
Finding of: Coroner Linton
Recommendations: Yes
Orders/Rules: N/A
Suppression Order: N/A

Summary: The deceased at the time of her death was an eight year old girl who was very much involved in junior drag racing and was attempting to pass her licence in order to compete in junior drag racing at the Perth Motorplex in Kwinana Beach.

On 11 November 2017, two days after the deceased’s eighth birthday, the deceased attended the Perth Motorplex in Kwinana Beach to do her licence pass. The deceased passed a blindfold test, after an initial nervous start and then prepared to do her licence pass on the track. After an aborted first attempt due to a problem with her dragster, the deceased was called up to the line. She moved forward then stopped and seemed to hesitate for a few seconds before she accelerated down the track. It was planned that she would travel at speed briefly, then idle down the track about 200 metres to the finish line. The deceased would then turn to exit the track through a gate that was open about 50 metres past the finish line.

After crossing the finish line, the deceased, did not slow down as expected. She was going too fast to safely negotiate the exit gate. It appeared at first the deceased was going to keep going straight down the track but then she turned left in an apparent attempt to make it through the exit gate. The deceased was going too fast to execute the turn and her dragster crashed into the corner of the concrete safety barrier at the side of the gate.

The deceased was found unconscious and not breathing immediately after the crash, although she did have a weak pulse. Her pulse disappeared when she was extricated from the car. She was rushed by ambulance to hospital and spontaneous circulation was eventually returned after aggressive resuscitation attempts. A CT scan revealed a subarachnoid haemorrhage which extended into the ventricles and down the spine, with a likely spinal cord injury. The deceased was placed in an induced coma but she never recovered.

The Coroner found the deceased’s death was a rare and unexpected event that occurred due to the deceased’s inexperience. The Coroner concluded there was a need for training and induction programme for junior racers and a greater emphasis on building a safety culture amongst the children, parents and organisers of the sport. The Coroner made a number of recommendations in respect to these areas.
Catch Words: Junior Drag Racing : Exit gates : Vehicle and Safety Gear : Safety Culture : Emergency Responses : Visible Finish Markers : Safety Barrier Walls : Practical and Theoretical testing for Juniors : Track Orientation : Installation of Remote Cut-off devices : Misadventure.
Report: Anita Jade BOARD

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