Kite warning by coroner after death fall

A CORONER today called for tighter safety regulations relating to stunt kite flying after a 28-year-old man was flung to his death. Lee Charity, of Coombs Green, Coombs, near Stowmarket, was killed on May 18 when his kite propelled him thirty feet into the air before smacking him down on the ground.

A CORONER today called for tighter safety regulations relating to stunt kite flying after a 28-year-old man was flung to his death.

Lee Charity, of Coombs Green, Coombs, near Stowmarket, was killed on May 18 when his kite propelled him thirty feet into the air before smacking him down on the ground.

Another gust of wind then took him up again before thudding him down. The whole incident was said to have lasted just ten seconds.

Jason Martin, who was with Lee at the time, rushed to his aid but saw him curled up in a ball with his eyes wide open.


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Speaking at the inquest into Mr Charity's death, held at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds, today Mr Martin said he had tried to resuscitate his friend before calling an ambulance.

Paramedic Matthew Broad, who was stationed just yards away from the incident was on the scene within minutes. He recalled seeing Mr Charity lying on his left hand side with multiple injuries. He said his face was turning blue and he was unconscious.

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Soon after, Mr Charity was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, at around 2.20pm, but he was pronounced dead around two hours later.

Mr Broad said the patient never regained consciousness following his fall and it is unlikely he would have known what was happening.

In recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Dr Peter Dean said it was clear there was no overall body with responsibility for the up and coming sport.

He said it was important for those who take part in it to join individual clubs and seek safety advice from others. Mr Charity was not a member of the Suffolk Kite Flying Club but had been kite flying for around three years. He also offered to write to the manufacturers in a bid to spread the safety message.

It was at around 8.30am that Mr Charity had said goodbye to his fiancé before going to pick up Mr Martin to find the field to fly their kite.

The inquest heard it was very windy that day and the kite, the pair were flying could hit heights of 70 feet. The pair decided to tether the kite to the ground, a practice that has now been banned. This was designed to give the maximum vertical lift. Moments before his death, Mr Charity had fallen from a height of around ten feet.

Mr Martin said "Lee just got straight up and laughed. This was typical of him."

Video camera footage was taken of Lee in action, which also captured the moment he fell to his death. This was passed on to the police who conducted an investigation into the incident.

A dog walker was in the area at the time and recalled seeing Mr Charity hit the ground.

Robert Osborne said he thought it would have "shaken him up," but it was only moments later that he realised he was seriously hurt.

He ran over to see what he could do to help and was helping free Mr Charity from his harness when the paramedics arrived. Mr Osborne said: "Mr Charity was breathing croakily and appeared to have swallowed his tongue. A post mortem found Mr Charity had suffered multiple traumatic injuries. No alcohol or drugs were detected or anything that could have led to the tragedy.

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