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|EternBoyX||Posted: 20/7/2012, 18:47|
A university graduate was killed on a dream riding holiday with her fiance after her horse bolted and dragged her along the ground.
Gemma Wilson, 24, was riding the animal on a trek through remote mountains of Southern Africa when it took off and flung her from the saddle.
Fiance James Langton watched in horror as Miss Wilson was pulled along the floor with one foot still in the stirrups.
Her head bounced along the hard ground and she suffered severe head injuries. She was not wearing a helmet at the time.
Star graduate: Gemma Wilson, 24, was killed after a horse riding accident on a trek in South Africa with her fiance James Langton, right
Tragically, it took four hours for an air ambulance to arrive as none of the party knew the emergency services number or could get a signal on their mobile phones.
An inquest at Nottingham Coroner's Court recorded a narrative verdict after a hearing this week.
The inquest heard how Mrs Wilson was brought up in Worksop, Notts., before going to Aston University in Birmingham where she graduated with a first and landed a job at BT.
Miss Wilson loved 'holidays abroad exploring new places and ideas' and dreamed of going to South Africa.
The court heard that while on the trip, Mrs Wilson and Mr Langton went on a group horse trek through the remote mountains near the Malealea Lodge in Lesotho, East South Africa on 4th November 2009.
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The novice horse riders were not offered helmets before they set off and were not given advice on how to handle the animals, the inquest heard. None of the group had first aid training.
During the expedition the horse bolted and one of her feet became trapped in the stirrup - preventing her from falling to the ground.
The court heard how there were a number of health and safety lapses on behalf of the tour guides at the lodge, run by Expedition Africa which was formerly an agent of Imaginative Travel.
Remote: A mountain Village close to the Malealea Lodge in Lesotho, South-Eastern Africa, where Miss Wilson and Mr Langton had been staying on the trip
Mr Langton told the Nottingham inquest: 'This was a trip aimed at novice riders and I can say with 100 per cent certainty that we were not given any instructions on how to ride the horse.
'The people on the ground weren’t trained. Why would they put us in that position?'
Brain experts told the hearing that wearing a helment would not have prevent Miss Wilson's death.
Consultant neurologist Mr Ian Robertson said: 'This was not the type of head injury that would have been stopped by a helmet. The injury was caused by the movement of the brain and not the impact of the fall.'
The travel firm - which has since become Peak Adventure - told the court that it was unclear if an investigation had taken place into the death.
The company's commercial director Martin Shapter said he was also unable to answer the extent to which they had investigated the availability of helmets.
Mr Shapter said that the firm no longer used Expedition Africa as a supplier and had switched to their own in-house suppliers around the world.
Miss Wilson, left, parties with a friend. She graduated from Aston University in Birmingham with a first class honours degree and landed a job at BT
Notts Deputy Coroner Heidi Connor recorded a narrative verdict, saying: 'I am satisfied that even if Gemma was wearing a helmet, the outcome would have been the same. But I must consider that in other situations this could be the difference between life and death.
'The evidence is that helmets should have been offered as they were available on the day, but this simply did not happen.'
Speaking after the inquest, Miss Wilson's heartbroken father Stuart Wilson, 52, from the Scottish Borders, said that he did not accept the verdict or the findings of the inquest.
'I was looking for closure today, but that doesn’t appear to be the case,' he said. 'I plan to sit down and discuss this with my family and I am looking to appeal this decision.
'Gemma was exceptional and was going to be successful. Her death was devastating and James and the whole family have been traumatised by this.
'I wouldn’t stop my children from going on these adventure treks, but I want to ensure that the number one priority of these companies is the safety of their customers.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-21...l#ixzz21BLs1gdC