Call for helmets after fatal skateboard accident

The father of a 19-year-old killed in a skateboard accident in Whangarei on Saturday is calling for all skateboarders to wear helmets.

Codie Higgison, of Whangarei, died in Whangarei Hospital after falling off his skateboard and hitting his head on the road in the suburb of Maunu on Saturday.

Codie's father, Fred Higgison, said they had taken the skateboard, a birthday present for his 13-year-old daughter, for a test run while she stayed at home to celebrate her birthday about 1.30pm Saturday.

"We were having a ball on it, laughing and doing father-son bonding. He went down a hill quite fast and fell off," Mr Higgison told the New Zealand Herald.

Mr Higgison lost a nephew in a skateboarding accident 36 years ago and said he was dealing with the guilt of having let his son skateboard without a helmet.

"Really insist on your kids wearing helmets, it's something you would never ever want to go through."

Codie, a rugby league fan, had his life support turned off on Saturday night as his family gathered around his hospital bedside to watch the World Cup final between the Kiwis and Australia.

"We were just cheering it on, the Kiwis were doing it for him, it was his send off. At half time we had a talk with the doctors.

"They told us there was no hope so we made a decision -- as soon as the game finished we would turn the machines off and it was up to him ... he never recovered."

The death of a Palmerston North teenager prompted a coroner last week to call for helmets to be compulsory for motorised skateboarders.

Twenty-year-old student Jeffrey White died in January after crashing his electric skateboarder in Palmerston North Esplanade.

Coroner Carla na Nagara said while motorised skateboards were considered a motor vehicle under law they fall outside the 2004 Road User rules requiring riders to wear helmets.

In the weekend's second road fatality, an 18-year-old mother was electrocuted after crashing into a power pole in Marlborough about 6pm Saturday.

The woman's car crashed off Cravens Rd, a gravel road in Spring Creek about 10km north of Blenheim, and broke a power pole leaving the wires hanging loose.

The woman was killed after she touched a wire while helping her six-month-old daughter and her sister's three-year-old daughter and seven-month-old son from the car.

Constable Ian Mills said her 19-year-old sister, who also touched the wire amazingly, survived.

"I was expecting some serious internal injuries where the power went through her. She's got some (electrical burns), but I can't believe she survived," he told The Dominion Post.

The sister was today in a stable condition in Wellington Hospital's intensive care unit.

The three children were treated at Wairau Hospital, Blenheim and discharged.

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