Quad-biker died after showing off

A Southland man who had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs died in a quad-bike accident while showing off to his friends, the Otago-Southland coroner says.

The written findings of coroner David Crerar on the death of farm worker Ashley James Boake, 26, of Woodend, near Invercargill, says Mr Boake was partying with friends at his home before the accident early on February 9.

Mr Boake had been drinking beer and a rum and cola mix, smoked cannabis and took at least two Tramadol tablets, the coroner says.

During the evening there were examples of "show-off driving", including a burnout by Boake on a Honda quad-bike.

"Some of those attending the party considered the performance of Ashley Boake on the Honda quad-bike was worthy of approval and, on learning this, he said words to the effect of "you ain't seen nothing yet", before leaving the property on the bike, the coroner said.

"He rode out onto the road and, after doing ‘doughnuts', the quad-bike veered off into a drainage ditch beside the road."

Mr Boake's friends found him pinned under the quad-bike face down at the bottom of the ditch.

Mr Crerar said Mr Boake did not have a licence to ride the quad-bike, which he assumed was provided by Mr Boake's employer.

"Attributing no responsibility to the employer . . . all those in this position should check and confirm that their employees hold appropriate licences, which should signify appropriate training," the coroner said.

He found that Mr Boake died of traumatic injuries and positional asphyxia.

Mr Boake lost control of the quad-bike, at least in part, because of his intoxication from alcohol and by being affected by cannabis and drugs, the coroner found.

The Southland Times