Boy, 12, died after losing control of bike dad got him ‘instead of PlayStation’

A schoolboy died after losing control of a road bike his dad bought him instead of a Playstation, an inquest heard.

Corey Caton, 12, suffered head injuries after he crashed at speed the first time he had ridden his early Christmas present.

The inexperienced road cyclist had braked hard on a sharp bend but skidded across the road and hit an oncoming van.

He was airlifted to hospital and underwent surgery but died two days later.

His dad told an inquest was concerned Corey was spending too much time playing computer games during lockdown and was excited to get him the bike.

But the youngster tragically lost control because of the speed of the bike and because he was unfamiliar with the location and with the bike, BerkshireLive reports.

He lived with his mother Taira in Reading, Berkshire, but spent weekends with his dad in Caversham after his parents' 2018 separation.

Mrs Caton claimed the boy died because his father had been negligent in his supervision.

She said Corey was only used to riding a mountain bike with wide tyres, the new bike was too big and he was not wearing a proper cycling kit and a properly fitted helmet.

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But at the hearing on Tuesday, June 8, Oxfordshire Coroner Mr Darren Salter said there was no proper basis for a conclusion of neglect.

Corey, he said, had lost control because of the speed of the bicycle and because was unfamiliar with the location.

The father and son had set off from Caversham for the ride to Pangbourne via the B471 Whitchurch Hill, on November 7 last year.

On the night before the crash, he had tried the Specialised Columbus S-Works bike for the first time.

Adjustments were made to the pedals, handlebars, and seat by his dad, and the next morning they set off with Corey wearing his father's helmet, an assortment of cycling and running gear, and trainer-style school shoes.

He was riding behind his son to judge his gear changing, road position, and protect him from traffic.

They stopped for a snack and when Corey complained the helmet was uncomfortable, he loosened the chinstrap and readjusted the headband before continuing to Whitchurch Hill.

Mr Caton, an experienced cyclist, and motorcyclist told the court: "I was excited about introducing him to Whitchurch Hill.

"He looked really confident on the bike. He even got into the racing position. I remember him going 'wahoo'. It validated me not getting him a PlayStation."

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