A company has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules after a teenage girl died in a fatal accident while go-karting.
The accident happened when a scarf worn by 18-year-old Suzanne Cornwell, of Hardwick, Cambridgeshire, became entangled in the axle of her kart on December 10, 2009.
Ms Cornwell, who suffered “critical” neck injuries and was unconscious when paramedics arrived, died in Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital the following day.
Peterborough Raceway Ltd, the firm in charge of the Caxton raceway in Cambridgeshire where the tragedy happened, and the then manager, Paul Shinn, both pleaded guilty to safety failings.
They will be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on November 4.
Fatal accident investigation found failings
South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) prosecuted Peterborough Raceway Ltd under health and safety legislation after a police investigation and inquest into the fatal accident.
Investigators said the firm had not undertaken appropriate health and safety risk assessments and its workers were poorly trained.
There were insufficient track marshals on duty and the safety briefings they gave to customers were inadequate, they claimed.
The premises and equipment were also “generally in a poor condition”.
Mick Martin, SCDC’s cabinet member for environmental services, called Miss Cornwell’s death a “tragic accident”.
Mr Martin said: “There were very clear shortcomings from the company in their practices.”
Peterborough Raceway Ltd shut the track after the accident and no longer operates the venue.
Accident Advice Helpline: Here to help after fatal accidents
Accident Advice Helpline appreciates there is never an easy time to discuss compensation under such tragic circumstances, but they can help families and loved ones after a fatal accident.
Its panel of specialist, independent compensation lawyers have a history of successful fatal accident claims. The service also offers friendly staff giving free advice via a 24-hour helpline on 0800 689 0500.
So if one of your loved ones has suffered in a fatal accident, check out Accident Advice Helpline’s website, which also offers an informative blog or call directly on their helpline.
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Date Published: October 29, 2013
Author: David Brown