The parents of a teenager who died after crashing while riding an electric bike have urged cyclists to wear helmets to 'prevent families going through this same tragic hell'.Owen David Jones wasn't wearing a helmet when he came off an electric bike he had borrowed from his friend on a fateful afternoon in May of this year.
The 17-year-old had headed down Goodshaw Fold Road in May at speeds of up to 30mph.When Owen's two friends, Marley and Jack, got to the bottom of the hill they found him lying unconscious in the road.
Owen, an apprentice joiner and carpenter, was flown to the Royal Preston Hospital but he died the following day after doctors discovered he had suffered several skull fractures.An inquest held at Preston Coroner's Court heard that the pressure inside Owen's skull was four times the normal level. Owen, a lifelong Man United fan who lived with his family in Crawshawbooth, had suffered 'unsurvivable injuries' in the collision.After the inquest Owen's parents Lisa and Richard called for greater legislation over electric bikes and scooters. The Sur-Ron bike Owen had been riding at the time of the crash was not road legal and had undergone several modifications to allow it to be ridden faster.Owen's parents said: “Four months ago we lost Owen from a severe brain injury caused by coming off a Sur-Ron E-Bike. If he was wearing a helmet, we've no doubt the outcome could have been very different and Owen would be here today.“More legislation is needed for e-bikes and e-scooters. I regard the operation of many e-bikes as more akin to a motorcycle road bike than a bicycle. They achieve acceleration to a top speed of 40+mph, much faster than anything else on the roads.“Since Owens accident we've personally seen teenagers without helmets and careless adults speeding down streets/roads and even pavements on their e-bikes for public safety, helmet requirements, age limitations and operating restrictions should be implemented for e-bikes, as they are for motorcycles. This may prevent other parents and families going through this same tragic hell as we are.”His inquest heard that as the bike Owen was riding was not road legal it did not have to conform to any safety features. However, despite the modifications, Area Coroner Chris Long found that these had not contributed to the collision.
A family statement read out during the inquest described Owen, an apprentice joiner and carpenter who lived with his family in York Street, as a 'caring, playful, kind and ambitious young man'. "He became successful in everything that he did," his family said.
"He enjoyed playing and watching football, especially Manchester United, and enjoyed riding his scooter and bike and socialising. On the day of the collision we had discussed his upcoming 18th birthday."