Lincolnshire coroner urges motorcyclists to be aware of ‘speed and dangers’ following fatal crash

A Lincolnshire coroner has urged motorcyclists to be aware of their speed and the dangers they face on the roads.

Police accident (stock image)

Marianne Johnson was speaking at the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Julian Whitehead, a motorcyclist from New Leake, near Boston, who was killed in a crash on the A16 last year.

Mr Whitehead, 58, died when his 1100cc bike collided head on with a Jeep Cherokee at Partney.

The inquest in Lincoln today (Wednesday) heard evidence that he had just overtaken a car at speed and narrowly avoided colliding with a vehicle in the opposite carriageway before hitting the Jeep, which was travelling behind it at about 50mph.

The Ducati Streetfighter was extensively damaged, the impact being such that the chassis was thrust back in the opposite direction.

Mr Whitehead died at the scene from multiple injuries.

The crash happened about 300m south of the A16/A158 roundabout at just before 4.30pm on September 28, 2020.

A car driver said that Mr Whitehead rode up behind her and passed by “extremely fast”.

An Audi driver travelling in the opposite direction said she first saw the bike on her side of the road and her instinct was to swerve towards the verge.

The Ducati passed by her but collided with the Jeep, which had three child passengers.

The Jeep driver said she saw the car which had been overtaken and the bike was still in the middle of her lane.

Summarising the driver’s written evidence, assistant coroner Mrs Johnson said: “She said when she first saw the motorbike it was leaning to the right and she believes the motorcyclist went even further to the right in an attempt to avoid her.

“She says she didn’t have any time to react.”

A Lincolnshire Police forensic collision investigator found that the Jeep driver’s actions had not contributed to the crash, saying: “The collision has occurred due to the manner of riding by Mr Whitehead.”

Vision at the slowly sweeping bend was said to be partially obscured by hedgerows.

Mrs Johnson concluded that Mr Whitehead died as a result of a road traffic collision.

She added: “As we are coming to the summer season when there are a lot more motorcycles on the roads, I’d like to give a word of warning to motorcyclists to be very careful and mindful of the dangers.

“Be aware of your speed and of everything around you.”