Scunthorpe

Experienced biker was on wrong side of road when he died in head-on crash with car

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An experienced motorcyclist who died in a head-on crash on the A18 was on the wrong side of the road at the time, an inquest in Lincoln heard.

Christopher Gough, who had ridden motorcycles for over 30 years, was on his way home from work when his BMW machine collided with a car as he came out of a left hand bend at the village of Limber close to Humberside Airport.

The inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre was told that Mr Gough, who was travelling towards Scunthorpe, may have miscalculated his position in the road.

Jason Barry, the driver of the oncoming car involved in the collision, attempted to swerve out of the way when he realised the motorcycle was heading towards him but the machine struck the front offside of his car.

Mr Gough, 51, was thrown from his motorcycle and suffered multiple injuries as a result of the collision which occurred at around 4.35pm on the afternoon of Sunday, January 8 this year.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Collision investigator PC Stuart Cooke of Lincolnshire Police told the hearing: “Mr Gough was travelling from his work in Grimsby back to his home address. Mr Barry was on his way from Manchester back to Skegness.

“Mr Barry has approached the right hand bend. Mr Gough was riding in the opposite direction exiting the left hand downhill bend.

“Mr Gough was exiting the bend on the wrong side of the carriageway. Mr Barry has done everything possible to avoid a collision.

“It is possible Mr Gough has misjudged the bend by entering it too fast. It is also possible that he entered the bend at the correct speed and mis-positioned himself. It is possible he just hasn’t applied enough steering to keep himself on the correct side of the road.

“Mr Barry did everything possible to move his vehicle out of the motorcycle’s path. Despite his efforts the motorcycle has hit the front of the car.”

PC Cooke told the inquest that a road sign warning of the bend on the carriageway in which Mr Gough was riding was obscured by a two metre high hedge which at the time was in the process of being cut back.

The hedge has since been trimmed back to a maximum height of one metre.

He added: “Mr Gough would have known the road and would be aware the bend was coming up.”

PC Cooke said that nine other injury collisions had occurred at the bend since 1985 including four in which serious injury was caused.

He said six of the nine collisions involved vehicles crossing into the wrong carriageway and the fact that the sign was obscured may have been a factor in some of those incidents.

Marianne Johnson, in delivering her verdict, said: “My conclusion is that Mr Gough died as a result of a road traffic collision.

“We just don’t know why he was where he was on the day of the collision. We will never know the answer to that.

“We do know that he was a competent motorcyclist. He knew the road relatively well and travelled on it on a regular basis to and from work. He was an experienced motorcyclist. There is nothing in the evidence to suggest he was driving in anything other than a competent manner.”