Water-ski champ hit wake at 100mph

A British water-ski champion died after hitting a boat's wake at more than 100mph in what a coroner ruled today was a tragic accident.

Karl Brooks, 25, from Wickford, Essex, was training on Lake Mead near Las Vegas in June 2007 when he fell from his mono-ski.



Team-mates managed to drag him to the side of the lake but he was pronounced dead at the scene having sustained serious head injuries.



Speaking outside Chelmsford Coroner's Court today, Mr Brooks' parents described their son - who was ranked third in the world in water-ski racing and was the European champion - as an "icon of the sport".



Mr Brooks, originally from Cardiff and also known as Karl Harding, was in Nevada training at the time of the accident.



The experienced racer was on a practice run close to the Hoover Dam on Lake Mead when he hit the wake of another boat, his parents said.



He would have been travelling at more than 100mph, they added



Mr Brooks fell into the water with such an impact that the helmet he was wearing was never retrieved.



Team-mates dragged him into their speedboat and took him to the side of the lake where he was pronounced dead.



A post-mortem examination found that he died of multiple blunt force injuries caused by the impact.



"In light of all the evidence, the court shall record a verdict that Karl Peter Harding, otherwise known as Karl Brooks, died as the result of an accident," coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said at the end of a short hearing in Chelmsford.



Turning to family members, the coroner added: "He clearly had achieved so much already."



His mother Karen Brooks said she had "hundreds of medals" her son had won.



Outside the court, Mrs Brooks, 48, and her husband Martin, 47, said they continued to support the sport.



Both are accomplished water-ski racers, as are Karl's two brothers, Kurt, 20, and Scott, 16 - both members of the British racing team.



Wearing a ribbon with the slogan "Remember Karl 222" - in memory of her son and his racing number - Mrs Brooks said that at events around the world, people still talk about her son.



"Karl was such a big icon in the sport," she said, adding: "He was bigger than we thought he was."



Despite his death, the family are still very active in the water-ski racing community.



Having set up the Karl Brooks Memorial Fund, his parents also organise events in his memory.



In 2008, his parents took 13 youngsters on a ski training camp on Lake Mead - the site of the accident.



Martin Brooks said their continuation with the sport is what Karl would have wanted.



"When it all happened, I did question myself. But water-skiing is such a big part of our lives and I'm sure Karl wouldn't want us not to do it," he said.

News
Fatale attraction: Brigitte Bardot in her youth
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...

Middleware Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Senior Java Developer/Designer

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...

Domino Developer and Administrator

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?