Widow of quad biker urges caution over bid to re-open Flappit Quarry off-road bike track (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Widow of quad biker urges caution over bid to re-open Flappit Quarry off-road bike track
The widow of a quad biker who died before his daughter’s eyes at Flappit Quarry has bravely spoken out over plans to re-open the infamous off-roading site.
The quarry was a magnet for moto-cross and quad bikes and a new Facebook campaign aims to re-open it as an officially recognised track.
But Debbie Clifford, whose husband Mark was fatally crushed by his 950cc machine in 2007, said she was fearful of any return to unregulated use.
“Flappit is, and was, a death trap.Sometimes it was like scenes from Mad Max up there with bikes and quads flying through the air. It was wild and dangerous, just too much adrenaline and testosterone to be safe,” said Mrs Clifford, of Micklethwaite, near Bingley.
“But, my husband chose to go there. It was something he loved doing, either with the quad or bikes and, of course, people must be allowed to do things of their own free-will.”
Mr Clifford was aged 45 when his quad flipped as he tried to ride up the face of the quarry near Cullingworth.
A keen extreme marathon specialist, he had raised thousands of pounds for charity and had completed the North Pole Marathon.
Mrs Clifford said she respected people’s desire to push themselves with challenges and dangerous sports.
“I fully understand that people want to have fun, but there has to be awareness of the risks involved “However, I might feel differently if a private investor or the Council made it safe, with compulsory helmets and all slopes measured and on a one-way circuit supervised by marshals. There would also need to be St John’s Ambulance at the site and all arrivals by trailer so as not to cause a nuisance on the roads.
“I really want people to take time and think about this very carefully, that’s why I’m talking now,” said Mrs Clifford, who has managed to successfully rebuild her life.
She has remarried and is an expert in semi-permanent cosmetic make-up who specialises in helping scar victims and people with disfigured skin.
“It’s all very well people saying just open Flappit Quarry again, but they haven't had to suffer the consequences,” she added.
“They would think very differently if it were their family member.
“My husband Mark died in front of our daughter Floss when she was just 17.
“She watched the quad roll back on top of him and then flew in the air ambulance to hospital, where her Dad was pronounced dead on arrival.
“I want people to think about that.”