Speed, alcohol behind Tas quad bike death

Ethan James
·1-min read

A man killed in a quad bike accident had climbed aboard the vehicle when almost six times the legal blood alcohol limit.

Disability pensioner Rodney Lockley, 51, was spraying weeds at a family property before he rolled his bike on a road on southern Tasmania's Bruny Island in December 2019.

The father-of-two was found unconscious by a passing truck driver and flown to hospital but died several days later.

Mr Lockley had been drinking beer while working on the property and was riding at excessive speed, according to coronial findings published on Friday.

"For many years, coroners across Australia have been concerned with the number of deaths associated with the use of ATVs, or quad bikes," Coroner Olivia McTaggart wrote.

"These vehicles have a tendency to tip or roll over when moving at speed, on rough ground or upon an incline."

Mr Lockley's blood alcohol level was 0.286, almost six times the legal limit for driving on a public road.

Ms McTaggart referenced 2017 findings following an inquest into seven quad bike deaths in Tasmania, saying riding while intoxicated is "inherently dangerous and no-one should do so".

Mr Lockley was likely travelling at 50-54km/h before he was thrown off the bike.

The coroner noted Mr Lockley had been convicted of seven drink driving offences since the 1980s and drank more than a six-pack of beer daily.

Ms McTaggart praised the efforts of people at the scene, including police who performed CPR before paramedics arrived.