Inquiry report released into the death of a Navy member involved in a cycling accident
28 May 2015
The Department of Defence today released an inquiry report into the death of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Kane Vandenberg who died on 11 October 2013 following a cycling accident at Mt Stromlo Forest Park.
Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg was participating in the Super D event at the Australian Defence Cycling Club 2013 Carnival when he lost control of his mountain bike and collided with a large rock.
He suffered a serious chest injury and received first aid at the scene. Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg was taken by ambulance to Canberra Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
An inquiry found that Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg’s death was a tragic accident and that organisers had implemented appropriate risk mitigation practices and strategies before, and during, the carnival.
In addition to the Defence inquiry, two separate investigations were also conducted into Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg’s death. ACT Police conducted an investigation on behalf of the ACT Coroner. On 20 December 2013, the ACT Coroner made an order dispensing with a hearing into the circumstances surrounding CPO Vandenberg’s death. The Coroner determined that no matter of public safety was found to arise in relation to Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg’s death.
Comcare also conducted an investigation and made only one recommendation which was that organisers conduct a formal inspection of each trail prior to use for future events. Carnival organisers have agreed to this recommendation.
The Defence inquiry made two recommendations regarding policy improvements for notifying the next of kin of Australian Defence Force members involved in fatal incidents. Defence has accepted both recommendations.
Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg was a keen mountain bike enthusiast and a valued member of the Navy and the Australian Defence Force. Defence once again extends its deepest sympathy to Chief Petty Officer Vandenberg’s family, his friends and the wider Defence cycling community.
The redacted Defence inquiry report is available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/Publications/COI/
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