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Friday 24 January 2020

Man seriously injured by scrambler in horror park accident calls for change in law

Victim: Ilabek Avetian and wife Anzhela Kotsinian
Victim: Ilabek Avetian and wife Anzhela Kotsinian
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A man seriously injured when a scrambler bike ran over his head has told his wife he wants Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to adopt a law to stop the bikes hurting anyone else.

A year and a half after Ilabek Avetian (40) suffered devastating brain and physical injuries, he has started to communicate a little with the help of his wife, a former teacher.

Mr Flanagan has said he accepted there is a "legislative loophole" regarding scramblers and would examine this with Transport Minister Shane Ross.

"It would appear there's a need to change the legislation," Mr Flanagan said.

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Mr Avetian's wife, Anzhela Kotsinian (45), said she had read the minister's words to her husband, who has recently had an operation on his foot.

"Ilabek said in response to Mr Flanagan's words that the Government needs to adopt a new law to legislate scrambler and other off-road bikes," Ms Kotsinian said.

The couple before the incident in a Dublin park 18 months ago
The couple before the incident in a Dublin park 18 months ago

"Ilabek said he wants to be healthy again, as he was before. He's hopeful to see action from the Government now, and so am I."

Mr Avetian has been left with life-changing injuries since the bike ran over his head in Darndale Park in north Dublin on June 9, 2018.

He had a brain haemorrhage, suffered a severe brain injury and lost an eye.

The 16-year-old bike rider was not charged with an offence. He didn't appear before a court but was dealt with by the Juvenile Diversion Programme.

Despite calls for more legislation to protect the public, there is still a grey area within Irish law that has failed to ban scramblers in parks and residential areas.

If ridden on a public road, the bikes are subject to regulations applied to all vehicles but there is still a continuing problem with anti-social behaviour by some who ride the bikes.

Ms Kotsinian, who moved to Ireland from Armenia with her husband to start a new life, was injured when the scrambler ran over her pelvis.

But in a bid to bring her husband back to some semblance of normal life, she has spent every day for the past 15 months by his hospital bedside to help him communicate with the outside world once again.

"I'm happy to hear Mr Flanagan's words on looking at the legislation around scrambler bikes," she said.

Irish Independent

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