Unwise decision costs biker’s life

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A North Derbyshire biker killed after being hit by a truck made a ‘split second decision’ with ‘wide-reaching consequences’, an inquest found.

Richard Smith, from Killamarsh, was killed after being hit by a recovery lorry in Shropshire on Monday, April 14, 2014.

The 62-year-old was riding in a group of four motorcyclists when he pulled on to the A49, and was hit by an oncoming lorry.

He was airlifted to hospital and was later transferred to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, where he died.

Robert Till, a tractor driver who saw the incident, said: “As the lorry was coming down the road I saw a group of bikers. The first pulled out in front of the lorry. I thought ‘that’s close’.

“I just couldn’t believe my eyes when the second followed.”

Asked if there was anything the lorry could do to avoid the collision, he replied: “No, not at all.”

Louise Slater, assistant coroner, said Mr Smith died in a road traffic collision. She said: “At no point in this inquest has anybody questioned Mr Smith’s competency. It seems he was a very experienced and very good rider.

“He made a split-second decision, which we probably all do on a daily basis, which had wide-reaching consequences.

“There are inquests that stay with you and I will remember this.

“We don’t know what happened with the decision making – we can only speculate – but it seems there was a lot going on with that junction.

“It was a split second decision and perhaps not the wisest one.”