Monday, 17 February 2020
A FATHER died of a “severe traumatic brain injury” after falling from his electric skateboard.
An inquest was held in Oxford on Thursday (February 13) for Brad Visser, who was involved in an accident on the main road through Stoke Row at around 7.30pm on July 17, 2019.
The 38-year-old, who ran his own bespoke furniture business in the village where he lived, was not wearing a helmet or any other forms of protective clothing.
He died at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford 10 days later.
He had only owned the skateboard for a couple of weeks and had recently fitted it with different tyres to make it more suitable for road use.
It is, however, illegal to use electronic skateboards on a public highway, including the pavement and only permitted on private land with the landowner’s permission.
Peter Clark, assistant coroner, recorded a verdict of misadventure at the hearing, which was attended by Mr Visser’s wife, Annie.
She said: “If Brad had known what he was doing was wrong, he wouldn’t have done it and therefore we wouldn’t be here.
“I’m not going to turn around and say that people can’t use them because he took great enjoyment out of it.
“I don’t think there is enough knowledge that you can’t ride them anywhere.”
Following the hearing, she added: “Although Brad was adventurous and loved his toys, had he known that being on a public highway on his electric skateboard was actually a road traffic offence, he would never have been on the road that evening.
“In our grief, we hope that in future, other electric skateboarders, scooter and hoverboard users will now be more aware of the laws and the risks, so that no other family has to endure the sadness of losing a loved one in this way.
“Brad was a superb, fun husband, and a magical loving father to both Ozzie and Chloe.
“He had a huge heart and was already with a smile and to help anyone in need.
“If anything positive can come from this tragic loss, spreading awareness of road safety, we would feel that his death would not be such an absolute waste of a brilliant life.”
The inquest heard how Mr Visser had been at his workshop making alterations to his skateboard on the day of the accident, but there were no defects to the vehicle.
He had also been drinking during the day, although the coroner didn’t specify how much alcohol he had consumed.
CCTV cameras in the area detected Mr Visser before he fell off the skateboard, which show he was travelling at around 20mph.
There were no other vehicles involved and the road surface was normal.
Mr Visser is originally from South Africa and has two young children, Ozzie and Chloe.
Mr Clark said: “This must have been an absolutely dreadful shock. It is clear he enjoyed his skateboard and this was a dreadful accident that will obviously have a deep impact, but I’m sure you will also have very good memories of Brad and his time with you.”
PC Mark Dunne, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, added: “These electric skateboards and similar devices are not currently legal on roads, or in any public place.
“They should only be used on private land with the land owner’s permission. These skateboards are capable of speeds in excess of 20mph and safety equipment should always be worn.
“As a result of this tragedy, the deputy Oxfordshire coroner has said they will be writing to the Government department responsible, highlighting the risks and lack of public understanding on the use of similar devices.
“Our thoughts remain with Bradley’s family, and hope that the conclusion of this inquest will bring about some closure for them from this tragic accident.”
For the full story, pick up a copy of next week's Henley Standard.
13 February 2020
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