A MOTORCYCLIST died when he crashed into the back of a car after ‘challenging’ another rider, an inquest was told.
Kevin White died from multiple injuries after losing control of his Kawasaki ZZR and hitting a stationary white Kia Picanto on Burton Bridge on Saturday, May 19, 2012.
Mr White, 47, of Bentley Dale, Hartshorne, was riding on the A511 towards Burton with his half-brother and fellow motorcyclist, Graham Byrd, 29, who was on another machine.
After stopping at traffic lights at the junction to cross the bridge, the two riders glanced at each other and accelerated at high speed, the inquest was told.
Giving evidence, motorist Tony Patrick, who was two cars behind the riders, told the inquest the riders ‘pulled off in an aggressive manor’ and weaved in between traffic on the bridge.
Mr Patrick, of Victoria Drive, Swadlincote, said: “The way they were moving in and out of traffic I would say they were challenging each other.
“The driving was dangerous and reckless. It put other road users and pedestrians at risk.”
Mr White, who trailed his half-brother, lost control of his bike and skidded into the Kia, which had stopped on the bridge to turn right into Meadow Road.
Inspector Tyron Kerr, of Staffordshire Police, who led the investigation into the crash, said witnesses estimated the riders’ speeds at between 60mph and 80mph.
He said: “All witnesses describe the actions as being reckless, dangerous and inconsiderate. None say they were driving normally or reasonably.”
Giving evidence, Mr Byrd, who denied racing his half-brother, said he was travelling at about 35mph.
He told the inquest: “The public have pre-formed opinions on riders and assume they are speeding.”
PC Simon Marshall, of Staffordshire Police’s investigation unit, said tests suggested Mr White was travelling at between 43mph and 51mph when he began to skid.
He added that Mr White could have exceeded 51mph.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh said the speed was ‘likely to be higher’.
He said: “In terms of independent witnesses there are only minor inconsistencies. They say the bikes travelled at substantial speed and them being a danger to themselves and others.”