Warning as BMX biker is injured at skatepark

Josh Ames-Ledwidge injured his knee at the Olding Road skate park in Bury.   His grandparents are concerned about safety at the site.
Josh Ames-Ledwidge injured his knee at the Olding Road skate park in Bury. His grandparents are concerned about safety at the site.
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A CALL has gone out for more safeguards for young users of the Bury St Edmunds skatepark after a boy was injured .

Josh Ames-Ledwidge, 15, suffered a serious injury to his right leg while he was using his BMX at the Olding Road facility.

His grandparents, Mike and Monica Ames, say that when they got to the scene there were about 70 youngsters using the popular facility but only one in 10 was wearing protective headgear.

Mr Ames, a former mayor of St Edmundsbury, said that Josh was wearing a helmet, which saved him from being badly disfigured.

The teenager spent two days in West Suffolk Hospital and underwent surgery on his knee under general anasthetic. He may need a skin graft to repair the damage.

Mr Ames stressed that the skatepark was a superb facility for young people in the town but said he was concerned that too many were not wearing protective equipment and believed that the site should be monitored during busy summer months.

He has written to the council expressing his concerns.

He said: “The site and users are vulnerable and I believe we can make it safer, firstly by young people, their parents and guardians making sure youngsters use crash helmets when doing high-risk manoevres.

“As a community I think the elected representatives of the borough and council officers should also protect themselves from being vulnerable to litigation.

“We don’t want a killjoy situation but feel that when the skatepark is used heavily during the summer holidays and at special events there should be some kind of warden to keep an eye on things. We, as a community, owe it to the youngsters to protect them more.”

Mrs Ames said they particularly wanted to thank everyone who helped Josh during last Wednesday’s incident.

The teenager said: “I fell off my bike and landed on my knee and cut it right open. I went completely numb. I’d only bought the helmet that morning. I am very grateful to the lady who phoned my grandparents and spoke to my mum when she got there.”

Josh has been an avid skateboarder and BMX biker for several years and lobbied his former hometown of Bolton for a skatepark citing Bury as a great example.

A council spokeswoman said it was investigating the incident and concerns raised.