Girl's kart death was accidental, jury rules

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 12:00am


The death of Island School pupil Amy Rose Coxall when her scarf got caught in a go-kart she was driving was an accident, a jury ruled at an inquest yesterday.

Coxall, 15, in Year 11 at the Mid-Levels school, died at about 4.30pm 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 at the Lunar New Year.

'The drive chain and the sprocket which should be covered by the guard were not covered,' the foreman of the jury told the Coroner's Court. 'The scarf the deceased was wearing caught between the chain and the sprocket, and quickly tightened itself around the rear axle until it was fully tightened.'

The jury recommended that the government have better supervision of the sport. However, Hong Kong has no go-kart track at the moment.

The court earlier heard that staff at the park did not check records to see whether Coxall was a newcomer. The British girl was not shown a safety video nor required to take a written test before she took to the track.

The jury made three recommendations: that the Hong Kong Kart Club, a watchdog of the sport, should make sure that its members have safety videos in Chinese and English; the club should update safety regulation of the sport, meeting international standards; and government departments should monitor safety regulation of go-karts.

The circuit, the only one in the city, shut down at the end of March last year. Kart races have since been organised on the mainland.

Outside court, Chan Cheuk-fung, a committee member of the Kart Club, said that since last year the Commission Internationale de Karting had required that the rear part of karts used for professional racing be covered with a guard, but karts used for leisure were not affected.

Tommy Tang Chi-ming, the club's vice-chairman, said that applications made to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department since the accident for allocation of land to run a new circuit had all been turned down. A department spokesman said it would carefully study the recommendations made by the Coroner's Court when reviewing applications for running a karting circuit.

Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu said several government departments had refused to assist the court.