Teenager's family issue warning over off-road bikes after daughter badly injured


The family of a teenage girl who was seriously injured in a crash are warning of the dangers of off-road bikes.

Jessica Chisnall was 15 when she was hit by an off-road bike which mounted the pavement as she walked home from school in St Helens, Merseyside, on January 13.

Bike collision
Jessica Chisnall, who was hit by an off-road bike which mounted the pavement as she walked home from school in St Helens, Merseyside, on January 13. (Merseyside Police/PA)

Merseyside Police has now released footage showing the moment Jessica was hit by the bike, which was ridden by two boys, aged 12 and 16.

Jessica's father Carl said: "It was a typical Friday afternoon waiting for the girls to come home from school and college, then a bang on the door changed our lives dramatically.

"My niece was at the door saying something has happened to our daughter. Our first thought was someone had hit her and nothing prepared us for what was to happen next.

"I ran to her and saw her lifeless on the floor and no movement. I was in shock and my first thought was she was dead."

Jessica's mother Sara said: "Christmas is a special time for us like all families but this year we count ourselves lucky to have our whole family together, things could have been so different."

Jessica, who is now 16, suffered bleeding on the brain, eye socket injuries and deep cuts and is still recovering from the collision.

We have released CCTV footage of a serious collision earlier this year in #StHelens, to remind people of the dangers of the illegal use of off-road motorbikes ahead of Christmas. pic.twitter.com/wGK3o3ZDqJ

-- Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) December 13, 2017

The rider and passenger of the bike made off from the incident but were later arrested.

The 16-year-old - who had been given the bike as a reward for good achievement in school - was given a detention and training order and disqualified from driving for five years while the 12-year-old was given a youth referral order.

Mr Chisnall said: "I plead with any responsible parent not to buy these bikes. They are not children's toys, they are not road legal and can only be ridden on private land with the land owner's permission.

"You're wasting your money but most of all you are putting your children and others at risk."

Chief Inspector Gary O'Rourke, who heads Merseyside Police's Operation Brookdale campaign to reduce the illegal and nuisance use of off-road bikes, said: "As upsetting as it is, this CCTV speaks for itself, and shows the true danger that can be caused by the illegal and dangerous use of off-road vehicles.

"The injuries suffered by Jess on that day were completely avoidable and Jessica and her family continue to suffer because of the reckless behaviour of two individuals who didn't think of the consequences that riding a powerful motorbike in a built-up area might cause."