Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Quad bike victim named

Photo / File / Thinkstock
Photo / File / Thinkstock

Police have released the name of a man who died after his quad bike rolled down a steep bank on his farm north of Auckland yesterday.

Family and neighbours searched for Eric Schollum, 72, after he failed to return from a quad bike ride on his 120ha property off Schollum Access Rd at Pohuehue, near Warkworth.

After three hours of searching, police were called about 5.20pm.

Search and rescue staff, a police helicopter and firefighters with lighting equipment were dispatched but his body was eventually found by family members shortly before 6pm.

Senior Constable John Williams said the quad bike had rolled down a steep bank.

The police serious crash unit would conduct a scene examination today and pass their findings to the coroner.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, on average, 850 people are injured and five killed riding quad bikes each year.

However, the number of annual deaths has risen sharply in recent years, prompting the ministry to release several safety guidelines.

The guidelines say quad bike riders must be trained/experienced enough to do the job; should choose the right vehicle for the job; always wear a helmet and children should not ride adult quad bikes.

The Chief Coroner this year investigated a string of quad bike deaths, which were heard together to determine if there was anything in common among the deaths that could then be used to improve quad bike safety.

Federated Farmers said in a statement they were saddened to hear of the death and their thoughts were with the farmer's friends and family.

"What we would like to re-enforce at this time is that when using quad bikes you must look after yourself, make sure you have had sufficient breaks and food, question whether a quad bike is the appropriate vehicle for the job and remain alert at all times when operating the vehicle."

Statistics showed that quad bike accidents were happening late afternoon, when the end of the day was in sight and drivers were weary.

Federated Farmers recommended that farmers ensured their bikes were in good working order, and to wear helmets when appropriate.

There were 37 quad bike deaths between March 2008 and March this year.

- APNZ

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