Quad bike in former soldier's fatal Australia crash had faulty brakes

A former soldier died in Australia when the quad bike he was riding with faulty brakes was hit by an oncoming truck.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 1:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 2:23 pm

Mr Scott Thompson (27) had been working on a dairy farm in Bungador, Victoria, with his girlfriend Samantha Allott when tragedy struck on February 4th, 2014.

The happy couple had only been in the country a matter of months after travelling around the Far East.

Scott, the son of Stephen and Lynne Thompson, of Sansbury Crescent, Nelson, was travelling back to the farm from his house across the road when the accident occurred.

A police investigation found that the bike was unregistered and therefore could not be driven on roads.

The front brakes were covered in dried mud and were heavily corroded at the time of the accident, according to police investigator Sgt Leigh Booth.

Foscor Pty Ltd, which owned the farm, was fined $40,000 after pleading guilty to three health and safety charges relating to Scott’s fatal accident.

An inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard evidence from the findings of Victoria state Coroner Mr Peter White who held an investigation in Melbourne on April 19th.

In his findings, Mr White criticised Foscor for not having formal written training sheets for foreign workers at the farm, describing it as “substandard”.

Mr Thompson, who had served in the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, had been travelling the world with Miss Allott before they arrived in Australia in November, 2013.

The former Primet High School pupil had found a job on a dairy farm where he would milk the cows at 6-30am and again later in the day.

The inquest heard that farm workers had been told that the braking system on the quad bike had not been maintained for “a considerable period of time.”

It was accepted that Scott was aware the brakes didn’t work when he was returning home at around 10-30am, but there was some dispute over whether the farm workers had been told they should not ride the bike on roads.

Witnesses reported seeing the quad bike cross the road at a fast speed shortly before the collision. Scott died at the scene of multiple injuries.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

He said: “I suspended the inquest originally to allow the Australian investigation.

“Scott Thompson died from injuries sustained when the poorly maintained quad bike he was riding was struck by an other vehicle.”

Family and friends – including his ex-Army colleagues - packed Holy Trinity Church, Colne, for Scott’s funeral in February, 2014.