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Widow in emotional plea over Flappit quarry bid
11:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
Debbie Clifford, whose husband Mark (below) was killed in an accident at the Flappit quarry, with her daughter, Floss, who was with her father at the time of the tragic accident
The widow of a quad biker who died before his daughter’s eyes at Flappit quarry near Cullingworth 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,” said Mrs Clifford, of Micklethwaite.
“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.”
She added: “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 45 when his quad flipped as he tried to ride up the face of the quarry.
A keen extreme marathon specialist, he had raised thousands of pounds for charity and had even completed the North Pole Marathon.
Mrs Clifford said she respected people’s desire to push themselves with thrilling challenges and dangerous sports.
But she added: “I fully understand people want to have fun – but there has to be awareness of the risks involved.
“I really want people to take time and think about this very carefully – that’s why I’m talking now.”
Mrs Clifford has remarried and is an expert in semi-permanent cosmetic make-up, specialising in helping scar victims and people with disfigured skin.
She added: “Everyone has heard of tragic accidents, be that Rik Mayall or Ozzy Osbourne, who were both badly hurt by quad bikes.
“It’s all very well people saying just open Flappit quarry again, but they haven’t had to suffer the consequences.
“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.”