A 14-year-old motocross rider from Esperance has become the second teenager to die in as many years during a WA motocross competition in what is being described as a “freak accident”.
Tyron van der Walt, 14, died at a weekend race meeting attended by around 200 spectators and competitors
Esperance Police and St John Ambulance responded to the crash about 9.35am on Sunday
- Police will prepare a report for the WA coroner
Tributes have flowed for young rider Tyron van der Walt, who died while competing at the Esperance Motorcycle Club on Sunday when he landed awkwardly after a jump.
The Esperance Senior High School student was given immediate first aid but died at the scene.
Senior Sergeant Justin Tarasinski, from Esperance Police, said the teenager was wearing mandatory protective equipment.
“We’ve already confirmed that he was wearing all of the necessary safety equipment,” Senior Sergeant Tarasinski told the ABC.
‘Words just can’t describe’
The teenager’s death is the second fatal crash in a WA motocross competition in two years, after 17-year-old Rhys Burnett died in a State championships round at Manjimup in 2019.
Senior Sergeant Tarasinski said bystanders did everything they could to save the boy.
“Two off-duty St John Ambulance volunteers are members of the club and were present, and they were with him within 30 seconds and made all attempts at CPR, but tragically he was unresponsive and unable to be revived,” he said.
“Any loss of life is a tragedy, but the death of a 14-year-old boy with his whole life ahead of him, words just can’t describe.”
“Everyone will be struggling to come to terms with what has happened, and we’ll be wrapping our arms around the community as much as we can.”
‘Thoughts and prayers’ with family
An online crowd-funding campaign to raise money for the boy’s family has raised more than $16,000 in just a few hours.
In a statement, the CEO of Motorcycling WA, Carl Grossetti, said ,”our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of a 14-year-old young man”.
“We are especially mindful of the Esperance Motorcycle Club president, committee and volunteers who were present during this incident and offer them our ongoing support and contact,” he said.
“As the matter is subject to an ongoing police inquiry, no further public comment will be provided at this time.”
WorkSafe is considering whether to send investigators to the Esperance track today.
The tragedy comes nearly four years after WorkSafe investigated the death of an eight-year-old girl while drag racing in Perth in 2017, which resulted in a spate of recommendations to improve junior driver safety.