Goldsmith's daughter died after ATV flipped over, inquest says

Iris Annabel (middle) with Ben Goldsmith (left) meeting Prince Charles in 2015 (Photo: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)
Iris Annabel (middle) with Ben Goldsmith (left) meeting Prince Charles in 2015 (Photo: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Ben Goldsmith's teenage daughter died after her quad bike suddenly flipped causing her to be trapped underneath, an inquest into her death has heard.

The financier's 15-year-old daughter, Iris Annabel, was tragically killed in a quad bike accident at the family's farm in North Brewham, Somerset in July 2019.

An inquest on Wednesday (10 November) held in Taunton heard that before the tragedy, Iris was trying to 'scare' her friend by zig-zagging the Polaris Ranger across a field.

She then made a sharp right-hand turn on dry grassland and was flung out of the six-seater all-terrain vehicle, nicknamed 'The Mule'.

Senior coroner for Somerset Tony Williams confirmed the teenager had died from pressure to the neck and recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

He said Iris’s driving caused the ATV to overturn but that underinflated tyres and other defects contributed to the cause of the accident.

Ben Goldsmith told the inquest in a statement: “What happened to my daughter was an amalgamation of bad luck.

"The mule was not being used by anyone on that Monday, which was unusual and bad luck.

"The ground was very hard after a two-month dry spell, which may have made the wheels skid, which was bad luck.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says ATVs, such as quad bikes, are designed to cope with a wide variety of off-road conditions, but if used carelessly can very rapidly become unstable.

HSE's ATV safety tips

The safety watchdog has issued farmers and land managers safety guidance when using ATVs:

• Carry out safety checks and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, eg regularly check tyre pressures, brakes and throttle.

• Secure loads on racks and make sure they are not over loaded and evenly balanced.

• Always read and follow the owner’s manual.

• Stick to planned routes, where possible, and walk new routes if necessary to check for hidden obstructions, hollows or other hazards.

• Take extra care with trailed or mounted equipment and understand how they affect stability.

• Make sure all riders receive adequate training.