Jockey loses fight for life
By GREG WHITE
COFFS HARBOUR jockey Daniel Baker has lost his battle for life late yesterday.
The 23-year-old rider was rushed to the Gold Coast Hospital on Sunday evening after earlier falling from his mount Hotshot Hayil in the Christmas Cup at the Grafton races.
Baker, who on Saturday had guided Rainbow's View into third in the Lismore Cup, suffered severe head injuries when he fell after his mount appeared to clip the heels of Concitare when angling for a run.
He was rushed to Grafton Base Hospital before being airlifted to the Gold Coast.
He had had emergency surgery to relieve swelling and bleeding to his brain and was put on a life support machine.
Spokesman for Daniel's family Gordon Yorke said doctors advised yesterday morning that Daniel's condition had deteriorated severely and a decision was made to turn off the respirator.
All his family and friends were around the bed with him and it was very moving at the end," Yorke said.
The priest was with him and it was good we were all able to say goodbye. Not many of us get that chance and still, its devastating."
Yorke said an appeal was being set up to support the family.
Daniel, his mother Debbie and fiancee Linda (Humphreys), the three of them were so close," Yorke said.
Debbie and Linda are shattered, as you would imagine.
I've spoken to the TRB today, to Ray Murrihy and Peter V'Landys and they know the situation and have agreed to support a trust fund and bank account being set up for Daniel's family.
As soon as the details have been finalised we'll let you know."
No funeral arrangements have yet been made as the Queensland Coroner is still to deliver a report.
Stewards at Grafton are investigating the accident.