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Teenager who died in off-road biking crash in Deeside was not ‘properly equipped’

A TEENAGE biker who died after he crashed on land used unofficially by off-road motorcyclists would have ‘given himself half the chance’ if he had been wearing the correct equipment, an inquest heard.

Chasie McGowan, 17, died from chest injuries after he came off his bike on the land off Weighbridge Road, Deeside Industrial Park, on Sunday, October 2, last year.

At an inquest in Wrexham last Thursday his mum, Heidi, said: “He liked going to the track to ride his bike, he didn’t ride it on the streets.”

Chasie, from Wythenshawe in Manchester, who was studying to become a landscape gardener, had travelled to Deeside with a group of friends to spend the day biking.

Mrs McGowan said he had taken his helmet and goggles with him, but had left his body armour, a protective jacket, at home.

Friend Jordan Gabriel, from Northern Moor, told the inquest they had been to the site at Deeside about 20 to 30 times but had never been thrown off by police or seen any warning signs advising them of the dangers of riding there.

He said he had offered his friend a spare body armour, but he had forgotten to put it on.

Mr Gabriel said he and another friend, Steven Pullen, saw Chasie ride past before he crashed.

Mr Pullen said: “He must have hit the wrong bump and his bike started going. He slowed down a bit and then fell off.

“By the time we got up to him he was stood up. I asked if he was OK and he said no. By the time I laid my bike down he had collapsed.”

Mr Pullen carried out CPR on his friend before Wales Air Ambulance arrived and took him to the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Chasie was pronounced dead at 3.30pm that day, after an hour of resuscitation attempts by paramedics.

A post-mortem examination showed the teenager had suffered bleeding in the lungs, a bruised heart and a tear in the artery to his heart.

He had low concentrations of cocaine and cannabis in his system, but not enough to prove his driving ability had been impaired.

John Gittins, acting coroner for North East Wales, said: “Chasie chose not to wear his body armour. I’m not qualified enough to say whether or not that would have made an absolute difference, but it would have given him half the chance.

“If there is anything positive to be gained from his death it is firstly that the site has been closed down, and people have respected that decision, and also it reiterates the need for the use of proper equipment at all times.”

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.

A spokesman for Flintshire County Council said: “The site has never been freely available for access by motor vehicles and signs set about the site using the wording ‘Police Notice - Motor vehicles prohibited, Police Reform Act 2002, Vehicles may be seized, Maximum fine £1000’ have been in place for a long period of time.”

Verdict: Accidental death