Teenager crushed by Dover funfair ride may have taken cannabis, inquest hears

Mackenzie Croxford-Cook
Emergency services were called to the scene in Pencester Gardens in the early hours of August 3. Credit: ITV News Meridian

An inquest into the death of a 14-year-old boy who was crushed by a funfair ride at Pencester Gardens in Dover last August, heard he may have taken cannabis.

Mackenzie Croxford-Cook gained access to the site with a group of friends in the early hours of Wednesday 4 August 2022, a day before it was due to officially open.

He became trapped on a ride and died at the scene. Today (31 January) the coroner ruled his death was due to 'misadventure'.

When he offered his condolences to the family of Mackenzie Croxford Cook the coroner aat today's inquest described his death as the tragic loss of a young man's life.

An inquest took place at County Hall in Maidstone today (31 January). Credit: PA

His injuries were a traumatic rupture of his liver and spleen.

The pathologist had also found traces of THC acid in his body, which can be present after someone had taken cannabis.

Giving evidence DS Welch from Kent Police described the witness account he'd taken from Mackenzie's friend who had called 999.

He described Mackenzie as close friend, something of a joker, someone spontaneous, someone who would do something to get a laugh from his friends.

The funfair in Pencester Gardens was cordoned off by Kent Police. Credit: ITV News Meridian

They had gone to Dover where Mackenzie knew there was a funfair. Some girls who had been on a sleepover nearby joined them and they went onto the ride called Body Count.

Cody decided he was going to climb to the top of the arm but his friend heard him scream and couldn't move the gondola that Mackenzie was trapped behind. He blacked out very quickly and never regained consciousness.

Today's (31 January) hearing was the second part of the inquest. The first was adjourned so more evidence could be taken  on whether the mechanism could have been locked or the entire site fenced off. The coroner was satisfied that neither were feasible.

Dover District Council is considering asking fairground operators to have security even when the fair isn't open.