Biker death was accidental

A RETIRED firefighter died in a head on crash as he rode his motorcycle in a convoy which included his own son, an inquest has heard.Brian Simpson was killed instantly in the crash on the A134 at Tinworth, near Bury St Edmunds.

A RETIRED firefighter died in a head on crash as he rode his motorcycle in a convoy which included his own son, an inquest has heard.

Brian Simpson was killed instantly in the crash on the A134 at Tinworth, near Bury St Edmunds.

The accident on April 13 happened as Mr Simpson and a group of friends were returning from a motorcycle event at the Snetterton circuit.

Mr Simpson, 56, of Elliot Way, Maldon, had been an experienced motorcyclist and been riding since 1962, his son Jonathan told the inquest at Shire Hall, Bury St Edmunds yesterday .

Jonathan Simpson said that he had been the last in the line of motorcycles and seen his father ahead of him appear to brake suddenly. "I saw smoke from the back wheel" he said.

Immediately afterwards Brian Simpson was involved in a head on impact with a car travelling in the opposite direction. He was thrown into the air, his crash helmet came off and he landed on

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the grass verge.

In a statement read to the inquest his son said: "I did not and cannot understand why the collision took place. He was a sensible rider".

Mr Simpson, who until his retirement had worked as a security officer and then a firefighter for the Ford Motor Company, suffered serious head and chest injuries. He was certified dead at the scene.

Motorist Norman Gooden, who witnessed the crash, said it appeared that Mr Simpson may have been attempting an overtaking manouevre but was unable to return to the nearside of the road in time.

He said that Mr Simpson appeared to be almost standing up in his attempt to brake hard.

An examination of Mr Simpson's Triumph motorcycle by experts from both Suffolk police traffic department and the manufacturers showed that it had no faults and appeared to have been well maintained.

Accident investigator PC Keven Rodda said the driver of the car, Mr Sika Henk Chong, had virtually come to a standstill when the motorcycle struck.

PC Rodda said: "Mr Chong is in no way, in my opinion, to blame for this collision". He said it was possible that it was caused by an error of judgement by Mr Simpson.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Great Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said: "Mr Simpson was clearly a very experienced driver but something obviously happened which led to him losing control".

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