Karting victim missed out on safety rules

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 May, 2011, 12:00am


An Island School student who died in a Lunar New Year karting incident when her scarf became entangled in the wheels of her go-kart did not receive a safety training session from the operator before she took to the track, a coroner's inquest into her death heard yesterday.

Amy Rose Coxall, 15, in year 11 at the Mid-Levels school, died on February 17 last year at the Diamond Coast International Kart Circuit in Lung Kwu Sheung Tan village, Tuen Mun, when she went with six friends on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year.

The rules of the park say newcomers should be shown a safety video before racing, but Coxall - born in Britain and who moved to Hong Kong with her family in 1999 - was not shown the film, the court heard.

Her father, Sean Coxall, executive vice-president at Li & Fung (Trading), was not in court because of business commitments, though statements he gave to police in the wake of the death were heard by the inquest. In a police statement read out in court, the father questioned why the circuit operator did not check the outfits of the customers, as there were signs in the park warning against wearing headgear.

He also criticised the government for failing to learn lessons from a similar incident in Macau a few months before his daughter's death.

James Sue, 18, a year above Amy, said he had brought Amy and others to the club, where he started racing in 2008. 'I saw her cart. It just span,' Sue said. 'I just saw her head tilted back. 'It didn't look normal.'

He and another pupil said the staff did not show them a safety precaution video that day. Hui Ming-hei, who sold them the tickets, admitted so. Hui told the court that normally he arranged for new customers to fill in a form, watch a video about safety precautions and take a written test before they were allowed to race.

But this time, he did not check the computer as to whether Amy had been there before, because he recognised some of them. 'I did ask them whether they had been there before ... I asked in English; they, including Amy, said yes,' Hui said, adding that they had also said they knew the regulations about kart racing.

A notice outside the office read that riders must not wear a scarf, tie or headwear.

A fireman who came to rescue Amy said that the scarf had been wrapped tightly around her neck, with the other end tangled in the engine chain between the rear wheels.

A doctor who tried to resuscitate Amy said her 'mode of injury could not be determined'. She was certified dead at 5.15pm.

The circuit shut down at the end of March last year.

The inquest continues.