A man who died in an quad bike crash last year could never have been revived despite the ‘valiant and courageous efforts’ of two other inmates.
A man who died in an quad bike crash last year could never have been revived despite the ‘valiant and courageous efforts’ of two other inmates.

Prisoners praised for efforts to save dying inmate’s life

A MAN who died in an quad bike crash at Holtze Prison last year could never have been revived despite the "valiant and courageous efforts" of two other inmates who tried to save his life, a court has heard.

Territory Coroner Greg Cavanagh this week held an inquest into the death of Benny Watts, who made the front page of the NT News in 2008 after foiling a plot to blow up a servo.

In his closing address on Wednesday, Deputy Coroner Calvin Currie singled out Thomas Roddick and Damien Barbi for their actions in trying to rescue Mr Watts after he was crushed under the ATV.

"Damien Barbi showed significant fortitude, altruism and courage," he said.

"His evidence was a ready reminder that some of the best traits of human character are often only observed in extreme adversity."

The inquiry heard Mr Watts was not wearing a helmet or seatbelt at the time of the crash but Mr Currie said prison authorities should be commended for acting swiftly to conduct a comprehensive safety review following his death, which was finalised in February.

‘Damien Barbi showed significant fortitude, altruism and courage.’
‘Damien Barbi showed significant fortitude, altruism and courage.’

"It was thorough and provided a level of introspection and detail that in my submission would give you honour a level of confidence that safety at the prison has improved and will continue to improve," he said.

"Many changes have already been made including decommissioning the Polaris ATV, using seatbelts in orange so they can be easily seen by supervisors. Helmets have been purchased and are required to be worn."

Mr Cavanagh will hand down his findings at a date to be fixed.

jason.walls1@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Prisoners praised for efforts to save dying fellow inmate's life