Mother's motorcycle plea after son's death

A HEARTBROKEN mother whose son crashed his high-powered motorbike and died just a few months after passing his test has called for a change in the law to prevent another tragedy.

Russell Claydon

A HEARTBROKEN mother whose son crashed his high-powered motorbike and died just a few months after passing his test has called for a change in the law to prevent another tragedy.

Valerie McLernon said it was “not right” that inexperienced motorcyclists - such as her 21-year-old son Gary Evans - were able to ride such powerful bikes.

She was speaking after an inquest into the death of her son, who lost control of his 1,000cc Aprilla bike on a bend in Bury St Edmunds on April 26 this year. He was thrown from the motorbike before striking a lamppost.


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The hearing was told Mr Evans, of Norman Road, Bury, had bought the bike at Christmas and passed his motorbike test shortly afterwards.

Speaking with tears streaming down her face outside the inquest, his mother said: “It was the first bike he ever rode and it was a huge bike.

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“It is not right they let youngsters buy such powerful bikes straightaway.

“I would like to see the law changed.”

The inquest, held in Bury St Edmunds yesterday, heard that Mr Evans was riding home on the morning of April 26 after staying over at a friend's.

He was due to meet his best friend Joseph Webber there to go to a motor show in Thurston.

The hearing was told that, as Mr Webber was driving to his friend's house at about 9am, Mr Evans overtook him on Barton Hill at the junction with Fornham Road.

In a statement, Mr Webber said his friend was going “very fast” and he saw him lose control of the bike going into a left-hand bend, which threw him into the air before he hit a lamppost.

The speed was estimated at between 60-70mph by a roadside witness who saw the bike hitting the kerb.

Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said the case “emphasises the dangers of roads and the vulnerability of motorcyclists if involved in an accident, particularly at excess speeds.”

Checks carried out by Pc Gary Buss found there to be no defects with the black and red motorcycle involved.

A post-mortem examination carried out on the body by Dr Shelia Purdy concluded Mr Evans died of multiple injuries.

The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

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