Killamarsh motorcyclist killed after being hit by recovering truck

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An experienced motorcyclist was killed after being hit by a recovery lorry in Shropshire, an inquest has heard.

Richard Smith, from Killamarsh, was one of a group of four motorcyclists riding together when the accident happened near Ludlow, on Saturday, April 14, last year.

The 62-year-old pulled out of the A4113 junction and onto the A49 when he was struck by an oncoming 12-tonne Renault lorry.

Mr Smith was airlifted to Queen Mary Hospital, in Birmingham suffering from multiple injuries, including a serious brain injury. He was later transferred to the Northern General Hospital, in Fir Vale, Sheffield, where he passed away on July 31.

Doctors found he died as a result of bronchopneumonia, secondary to a brain injury.

The inquest at Sheffield’s Medicolegal Centre, heard the lorry had parked in a lay-by while the driver checked his sat-nav, before pulling back onto the A49.

The court was told the wrong indicator may have been flashing, giving Mr Smith the impression it was turning onto the A4113. However, the lorry did not pull into a filter lane and carried on travelling straight ahead along the A49.

PC Neil Taylor, of West Mercia Constabulary, said an ambulance was travelling in the opposite direction along the A49 with its blue lights flashing, which may have distracted the motorcyclists.

He said the lorry turned off its indicator at least six seconds before the junction, giving the motorcyclists enough time to check on its direction again.

PC Taylor said: “It would appear that the ambulance took the attention of the motorcyclists for whatever reason and the first rider and then Richard decided to pull in front of the ambulance.

“I cannot understand why they would do that but it would appear that is what happened and unfortunately the Renault hasn’t turned left and Richard has pulled out and has been struck.”

He told the inquest that the lorry was not travelling above the road’s 40mph speed limit.

Vehicle examiner Michael Saunders said the motorbike was in near showroom condition and although the lorry’s anti-lock braking system was not working, the collision would still have been ‘unavoidable’.

Senior investigating officer Darren Hayes said a paramedic in the ambulance, also an experienced rider, told officers the motorbikes should not have pulled out before the ambulance.

After reviewing the evidence and speaking with witnesses he said the accident was the result of a ‘misjudgment’ by Mr Smith to pull out onto the A49.

The inquest continues.