Boy, 4, died in tragic accident while riding his new children's motorbike

Jacob had been riding his new motorbike at the Britannia Playing Fields in Cefn Fforest. Credit: Media Wales

A four-year-old boy died in a tragic accident while riding his new motorbike, an inquest has heard.

Jacob Gamlin Turner, of Blackwood, Caerphilly, died on May 5, 2021 after the children's motorbike he was riding collided with a fence at a playing field near his home.

An inquest at Gwent Coroner's Court on Tuesday, May 31, heard Jacob "had a love for sports and the outdoors" and a particular passion for motorbikes, which he had been riding since he was a small child after being inspired by his older brother.

On the afternoon of May 4, 2021, Jacob had been taken to the Britannia Playing Fields in Cefn Fforest with his father, Ross Turner, his grandfather, and a friend.

A collision investigation statement read out by senior coroner Caroline Saunders said Jacob's dad had chosen the playing field which he considered to be a safe and secure place for Jacob to ride his new bike for the first time.

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She said Jacob had been wearing an orange and white motorbike suit, a helmet and gloves, and that Mr Turner had checked the bike including its brakes to ensure it was working correctly and had no issues.

Jacob's dad and grandfather had formed a triangle on the field with Jacob riding in between them. At one point he was riding towards his grandfather when he appeared to "hit a bump" and veered towards a boundary fence on the field.

Mr Turner and Jacob's grandfather ran but were unable to reach him before he collided with the fence. The investigation noted that Mr Turner said Jacob "appeared to apply the throttle in an uncontrolled manner", threw himself off the bike and hit the fence before falling to the floor.

"At first he [Mr Turner] did not think it was serious, but found his son unresponsive and not breathing," Ms Saunders said, adding that Mr Turner moved his son to another area for CPR to be performed. An ambulance was called and Jacob was transported to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

A statement from Dr Skone, a consultant in paediatric intensive care, said Jacob had suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene before being resuscitated and brought to hospital.

He was found to have a heart rate in the 90s, which Dr Skone said was "compatible with a serious head injury or a spinal cord injury".

The court heard Jacob was treated in hospital for multiple traumatic injuries including significant head injuries, blood in his mediastinum, rib fractures and spinal dislocation, and underwent a CT scan.

Several hours later Ms Saunders said doctors told Jacob's parents that their son's injuries were not survivable and he died at about 12.40am on May 5, 2021, at the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales.

Ms Saunders said the motorbike Jacob had been riding had been in good working order and was suitable for his age. She added that the protective clothing he had been wearing had also been appropriate for the activity.

"Jacob Turner was a four-year-old little boy who had a love for sports and the outdoors," she said. "His main passion was his motorbike and he showed a flare for riding."

'He died doing something he loved'

Ms Saunders said Jacob had been able to ride bikes by the time some children were only learning to walk and had been keen to ride his new motorbike on May 4, 2021, when "for reasons unknown" he veered off course while riding on the playing fields.

Recording a medical cause of death of traumatic brain injuries, she said: "Jacob died from fatal head injuries sustained the previous day when the children's motorbike he was riding collided with a metal post."

Concluding that his death had been an accident, Ms Saunders expressed her condolences to Jacob's family, saying she was sure it would be "of little comfort" to his family to know their son "died doing something he loved".