A MOTORCYCLIST killed while driving on the opposite side of the road was simply in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’, a coroner has concluded.
Ian Broughton, 52, suffered fatal head injuries in the incident on the A684 between Sedbergh and Garsdale, when it is believed a dip in the road ‘misled’ him into thinking the highway ahead was clear.
An inquest into the death of the Horwich resident heard his bike was smashed in three by the collision with a Volkswagen Tiguan, which occurred on a double bend.
“We came to the first corner and saw a motorbike on the wrong side of the road,” said Sedbergh resident, Kevin Seaward, who was driving the Volkswagen.
“He just wobbled and dropped the bike and that was it.”
He added: “He saw us and he wobbled. He knew he had no chance.”
The incident took place during the afternoon of March 30 which the court heard was a clear, sunny day.
Mr Broughton had been following a regular route with friend of almost 30 years, Jeffrey Parker, and the pair had previously stopped in Settle before deciding to head home.
Although Mr Broughton’s bike had several faults and had been declared ‘off the road’ by the DVLA and he did not hold a valid MOT certificate, the inquest in Kendal heard these had no bearing on the crash.
“He got launched completely over the road, two feet into a grass verge, as if he’d just pulled in and parked up,” continued Mr Seaward.
“The bike went straight underneath us and ended up at the back of the vehicle.”
Coroner Ian Smith said Mr Broughton had suffered injuries ‘too distressing’ for the court to hear – and that the father-of-two had paid ‘a dear price’ for a minor misjudgement.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time from the point-of-view of seeing the Volkswagen,” he said. “He didn’t see it and on the assumption the road was clear he made his manouevre.”