Man, 22, tragically died after best friend’s prank went horribly wrong at golf range

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By stefan armitage

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A young man tragically lost his life after a prank during a night out with friends went horribly wrong.

As reported by BBC News, the tragic incident took place at Topgolf in Chigwell, Essex - a popular golf driving range.

Conner Groom, 22, was visiting the driving range with friends as part of a work Christmas party.

According to the Essex Coroner's Court, Groom and his friends had been enjoying an evening of drinks and socializing, when the jovial horseplay started.

62657299_1642325252613319_r.webpConnor Groom was just 22 when he died. Credit: GoFundMe

Continuing throughout the evening, the group started to push each other towards the underlying safety netting surrounding their golfing bay. This behavior continued seven times despite warnings from Topgolf staff to cease their actions.

Detective Inspector Lydia George of Essex Police provided details during the inquest, stating, per The Sun: "All of the CCTV shows them in good spirits and no signs of animosity. A number of times it shows the friends trying to push each other into the safety netting. It was plainly seen as a joke."

However, the good-natured antics quickly ended in tragedy after Groom was pushed by his best friend after hitting a golf ball. The shove resulted in Groom going over the safety net and falling approximately 12 feet from the bay onto the driving range below.

BBC News reports that Groom landed face-first and suffered a critical spinal injury.

The incident occurred on December 21, 2021.

GettyImages-1241445701.jpgThe incident took place at a Topgolf range in Essex. Credit: Jason Armond / Getty

The fatal push that led to Mr. Groom's fall was executed by his best friend, Ben Gardner, who, according to testimony, had joked about pushing him just before the incident. DI George clarified: "It was said in a joking manner. He ran to him and pushed him. It was a two-handed push."

Medical professionals attempted to save Groom's life after the fall, but he succumbed to his injuries five weeks later at the Royal London Hospital on January 25, 2022.

Essex Police investigated the incident, considering potential charges against Gardner. However, after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service and Groom's family, it was determined that no charges would be pursued due to the lack of intent to cause harm.

The court heard emotional testimony from Groom's family, who expressed their belief that Conner would not have wanted punitive action against his friend. They described the incident as a tragic accident stemming from what was intended to be harmless fun among friends.

Following Groom's death, Topgolf implemented changes to enhance safety protocols, as noted by Graham Jarvis of Epping Forest Council. These changes included updated signage and a stricter approach to handling guests who engage in similar activities. The venue's management cooperated fully with the council's recommendations, leading to improvements aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future.

Coroner Lincoln Brookes concluded the inquest by recording a verdict of misadventure with no malicious intent.

On a GoFundMe page set up for Groom's family, his godmother, Jade White, wrote: "Thank you to everyone who has donated.

"We lost conner last Tuesday, as a family we are totally broken I’ve lost my best friend and Paige ‘his sister’ has lost her protector. No time will heal this pain. All monies raised will go towards Conner having the best day to celebrate his life."

More than £7,000 was raised for the family.

Our thoughts continue to go out to Groom's loves ones at this time.

Featured image credit: GoFundMe

Man, 22, tragically died after best friend’s prank went horribly wrong at golf range

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

A young man tragically lost his life after a prank during a night out with friends went horribly wrong.

As reported by BBC News, the tragic incident took place at Topgolf in Chigwell, Essex - a popular golf driving range.

Conner Groom, 22, was visiting the driving range with friends as part of a work Christmas party.

According to the Essex Coroner's Court, Groom and his friends had been enjoying an evening of drinks and socializing, when the jovial horseplay started.

62657299_1642325252613319_r.webpConnor Groom was just 22 when he died. Credit: GoFundMe

Continuing throughout the evening, the group started to push each other towards the underlying safety netting surrounding their golfing bay. This behavior continued seven times despite warnings from Topgolf staff to cease their actions.

Detective Inspector Lydia George of Essex Police provided details during the inquest, stating, per The Sun: "All of the CCTV shows them in good spirits and no signs of animosity. A number of times it shows the friends trying to push each other into the safety netting. It was plainly seen as a joke."

However, the good-natured antics quickly ended in tragedy after Groom was pushed by his best friend after hitting a golf ball. The shove resulted in Groom going over the safety net and falling approximately 12 feet from the bay onto the driving range below.

BBC News reports that Groom landed face-first and suffered a critical spinal injury.

The incident occurred on December 21, 2021.

GettyImages-1241445701.jpgThe incident took place at a Topgolf range in Essex. Credit: Jason Armond / Getty

The fatal push that led to Mr. Groom's fall was executed by his best friend, Ben Gardner, who, according to testimony, had joked about pushing him just before the incident. DI George clarified: "It was said in a joking manner. He ran to him and pushed him. It was a two-handed push."

Medical professionals attempted to save Groom's life after the fall, but he succumbed to his injuries five weeks later at the Royal London Hospital on January 25, 2022.

Essex Police investigated the incident, considering potential charges against Gardner. However, after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service and Groom's family, it was determined that no charges would be pursued due to the lack of intent to cause harm.

The court heard emotional testimony from Groom's family, who expressed their belief that Conner would not have wanted punitive action against his friend. They described the incident as a tragic accident stemming from what was intended to be harmless fun among friends.

Following Groom's death, Topgolf implemented changes to enhance safety protocols, as noted by Graham Jarvis of Epping Forest Council. These changes included updated signage and a stricter approach to handling guests who engage in similar activities. The venue's management cooperated fully with the council's recommendations, leading to improvements aimed at preventing similar incidents in the future.

Coroner Lincoln Brookes concluded the inquest by recording a verdict of misadventure with no malicious intent.

On a GoFundMe page set up for Groom's family, his godmother, Jade White, wrote: "Thank you to everyone who has donated.

"We lost conner last Tuesday, as a family we are totally broken I’ve lost my best friend and Paige ‘his sister’ has lost her protector. No time will heal this pain. All monies raised will go towards Conner having the best day to celebrate his life."

More than £7,000 was raised for the family.

Our thoughts continue to go out to Groom's loves ones at this time.

Featured image credit: GoFundMe