Motorcyclist tells court of fatal crash

A MOTORCYCLIST accused of causing the death of a grandmother by dangerous driving has claimed he was performing a safety check known as “the lifesaver” the moment before he crashed into her.

A MOTORCYCLIST accused of causing the death of a grandmother by dangerous driving has claimed he was performing a safety check known as “the lifesaver” the moment before he crashed into her.

Christopher Bainbridge told a jury he was checking a mirror on his Honda motorbike as he prepared to do a right turn and when he looked back the woman and her family had “unfortunately stepped out”.

Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, where he denies the dangerous driving charge, Bainbridge described how the fatal accident happened.

He said: “I checked my mirrors as a matter of routine as I was turning right. They call the check 'the lifesaver'. Then on the brow of a bend in the road unfortunately the people stepped out, they came from behind a tree.

“I thought there was only one person because they were in a line. My instant reaction was to try and avoid it by steering left. That's how I remember it. I can't remember much because of the shock, you don't expect people to cross the road there.”

The accident happened on London Road, Ipswich, on August 18 last year as Bainbridge was on his way to a hair appointment in Colchester.

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Christine Seymour, 58 was injured in the accident and died in hospital five weeks later. Her 66-year-old husband Brian suffered serious injuries and has since had both legs amputated. Grandchildren Kieran, six, and Ethan, two, were also injured.

Bainbridge, of Lincoln Close, Ipswich, denied he was driving above 60 miles an hour in a 40pmh zone despite evidence from witnesses and a road expert.

The court heard earlier from Sergeant Bill Payne, an accident investigation and reconstruction expert from Suffolk Police, who said evidence from tyre skid marks showed he was travelling 65 to 91mph, and that if he had been travelling at the correct speed he would have been able to avoid the accident.

Bainbridge said: “I didn't look at my speedo so have no idea of how fast I was travelling, but I wouldn't exceed 60mph on that road.”

Bainbridge, a van driver, said as he approached a set of traffic lights he filtered towards the front of the queue of traffic, stopping two cars from the front.

He said when the lights changed, by switching between lanes, he ended up at the front of the queue.

He also said witnesses may have thought that he was travelling faster than he was because his exhaust has been modified and sounded louder than normal bikes.

Richard Christie, prosecuting, said the motorcyclist's dangerous driving was responsible for Mrs Seymour's death and that he was speeding and over and undertaking cars.

He said: “You were going far too fast and you killed Mrs Seymour because of that.”

The trial continues today.

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