A “courteous” motorcyclist died despite his desperate attempt to avoid a car, driven by an 83-year-old man, which pulled out in front of him.

Simon Higgins tried to steer around the Ford Focus, but when he realised he was not going to make it laid the bike down on the road, North Yorkshire coroner, Rob Turnbull was told.

Mr Higgins skidded along the A65 and his new Dukati collided with the Focus, driven by Rennie Mallett from Burnley.

Mr Mallett had been crossing the A65 from Keasden junction towards Station Road, Clapham.

A paramedic, assisted by others, battled for 45 minutes to try to save Mr Higgins, but he was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Turnbull recorded a verdict that the 39-year-old, of Tormorden, had died of head and chest injuries as a result of a road traffic accident on July 27 last year, when travelling on the A65 towards Ingleton.

Motorists, who had been driving in the same direction as Mr Higgins said he had been driving with care and courtesy, signalling his thanks as they moved over to let him pass.


North Yorkshire Police accident investigation officer Stuart Langford said he had formed the opinion that Mr Higgins had been riding in a normal manner and been confronted by a car which had driven across his pathway.

“There was nowhere for him to go,” he told the inquest at Skipton Magistrates' Court.

“Having reached a point where a collision was likely, he laid the motorcycle down which slid along the surface. Mr Higgins then collided with the rear offside of the Focus.”

Mr Turnbull also heard from Mr Mallett’s doctor, who revealed that after the accident he had suffered a bleed to the brain and remained in a confused state of mind.

She said: “He is not in a fit state to provide an account of the events. He can’t recall matters happening on the same day.”

Mr Turnbull said Mr Mallett had failed to see Mr Higgins or had misjudged his distance and speed, pulling out into his path on a major road.