Biker was going too fast, inquest told

A CORONER has told how the life of a 26-year-old biker might have been saved had he not been driving at least 10mph above the speed limit.

Laurence Cawley

A CORONER has told how the life of a 26-year-old biker might have been saved had he not been driving at least 10mph above the speed limit.

Paramedics were called to the 40mph Newmarket Road in Risby, near Bury St Edmunds, in November last year after a Suzuki motorbike crashed into a Citroen panel van.

The motorcyclist, Richard Faulkner, of Lion Green in Barrow, was declared dead at the scene.

At an inquest into his death held in Bury yesterday, it emerged he was travelling at least 50mph when he struck the van and between 60 and 65mph immediately beforehand.

In a written statement to the inquest, Alan Barber, the driver of the white Citroen, which had been borrowed, told how he had been to a nearby salvage yard to pick up a car for his son when he approached a junction with Newmarket Road.

Most Read

He said the road was clear so he pulled out. But as he was completing the manoeuvre he noticed a motorbike heading towards him. He tried to accelerate away but then “heard a loud bang” as it struck his vehicle.

A friend of Mr Faulkner, with whom he had just finished a lunch break at a caf�, told the inquest how they were both riding their motorbikes and were travelling between 60 to 65mph in the lead up to the accident.

He said he lost sight of Mr Faulkner for a brief moment as he went around a left-hand bend.

He then noticed the silver Citroen van which he described as travelling “at normal speed”. He saw his friend breaking hard just moments before he started to slide in the road and strike the van. He said Mr Faulkner went under the trailer which was attached to the Citroen.

Pathologist Dr David Rouse said Mr Faulkner died of multiple injuries and believed the impact speed was “at least 50mph”.

As he read through a police report on the incident, Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “If it had been driven within the speed limit, it was extremely unlikely the collision would have occurred.

“It does seem what took place was a very, very tragic accident which cost the life of Mr Faulkner.”

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.