‘Rattled’: Skate park death exposes dangers of sport
The close-knit skateboarding community is “rattled” after the death of a 32-year-old man, who suffered a critical head injury when he fell off his board at Mudjimba Skate Park.
Marcoola resident Chris Pinto was flown to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital about 2:45pm on Tuesday.
But he died two days later.
Mr Pinto was 32.
His death has rocked the Marcoola and skateboarding community of which he became a part when he moved from Sydney nearly a year ago.
Skateboarder and Olympic hopeful Taniah Meyers said the tragedy had come as a “shock” and reminded her of the sport’s potential dangers.
“Unfortunately for me I have had quite a few concussions and hit my head quite a few times, so it’s kind of rattled me,” she said.
“You can’t fully prepare for what’s going to happen if you fall, it could be that one-off time that you can’t really catch yourself and get your hands underneath yourself in time.”
She said it was a tragic reminder of the importance of safety equipment.
“We are a pretty tight-knit community, so I’m sure it’s going to be felt by a lot of people, but hopefully it helps people realise that it is a bit of a serious sport and hopefully they at least wear a helmet,” she said.
“It shows that if you hit your head it’s not just a little graze it could be a serious thing, so maybe people will kind of take that into consideration know that something like this has unfortunately happened.”
Owner of Chiggy’s Skateboarding Matt Chigwidden said the tragic accident had “blown him away” and would heavily impact the skating community.
“I just wish the family the best and I’m sorry to hear of their loss and I’ll try to do what I can on my end to help prevent these tragic accidents from happening again,” he said.
“I’ve heard of a few incidents and similar scenarios and it definitely makes people think again and it makes them realise skateboarding is not as causal as people think.”
As a skateboard coach Chigwidden said safety was his “number one priority”.
“I think there needs to be more awareness surrounding skateboarding safety and wearing the right equipment,” he said.
“I’m always making sure the kids are in the right safety equipment, but there is a lot of cheap equipment out there which people tend to buy more so then the expensive stuff and it’s a bit of an issue.”
Mr Chigwidden, who has been skating for more than 20 years, will next year present a safety talk to Coolum High School students which he hoped would help avoid any future tragedies.
Mr Pinto left behind his fiancee Jess.