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Man killed as driver slowed for rabbit

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A FORMER soldier was killed when his motorbike hit the back of a car as it slowed for a baby rabbit in the road - causing him to be thrown into the path of an oncoming vehicle, an inquest heard yesterday.

A FORMER soldier was killed when his motorbike hit the back of a car as it slowed for a baby rabbit in the road - causing him to be thrown into the path of an oncoming vehicle, an inquest heard yesterday.

Jason Jealous was 28 when the accident happened on a summer evening last year on the B1029 Church Road in Brightlingsea.

Paramedics attended but Mr Jealous died at the scene from multiple injuries.

After the hearing, Essex coroner, Caroline Beasley-Murray, said it was a tragic accident and returned a verdict of accidental death.

The hearing, at Weeley, heard how Mr Jealous, of Regent Road, Brightlingsea, had been overtaking cars on his Suzuki GSXSR 1100 minutes before the accident happened but had not been riding dangerously.

As he came round a bend on his way out of the town, he saw a Rover 200 in front of him which had braked to avoid a baby rabbit which had run across its path.

Mr Jealous also braked hard, causing his tyre to lock, but was unable to avoid the back of the Rover, driven by Khaled Saud-Albader, which he hit before being thrown into the path of an oncoming Fiesta.

Mr Saud-Albader, of Old Ferry Road, Wivenhoe, said he had been unaware of the motorbike in his rear view mirror.

He said: “I saw a small baby rabbit crossing from the right side.

“I took my foot off the accelerator and put it on the brake and in that time I heard a bang.

“As the motorcyclist hit me, I heard the second bang within a fraction of a second.”

Mr Jealous' wife, Clara, was offered the chance to put a question to the witness. She said: “I can't understand why he hadn't noticed any vehicles behind - if you slow down you automatically check the mirror.”

The Fiesta driver, Anthony Treganna- Piggott, who was driving towards Brightlingsea, veered sharply to the left into the verge to try to avoid Mr Jealous, and the coroner confirmed he had no chance of missing him.

Mr Treganna-Piggott, of Lower Park Road, Brightlingsea, said: “All of a sudden, this motorcycle just came towards me, it all happened in a split second. I tried to avoid him.”

Traffic investigator for Essex Police, Sgt Christopher Booth, said Mr Jealous had been doing about 45mph before he braked, a speed he called “perfectly appropriate”.

He said the collision with the Rover had been quite minor and it was the impact with the Fiesta which had caused fatal injuries.

After the crash on June 23 last year, Mr Jealous' mother, Annette, said her son had been “motorbike mad” and had loved life and lived it to the fullest.

During his Army career, Mr Jealous served in Northern Ireland and Yugoslavia and qualified as a light gun crewman and transport manager.

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