Sheffield bike rider, 66, died after swerving to avoid oncoming car before crashing

The decision of a Sheffield grandfather ‘who lived life to the full’ to swerve in order to avoid an oncoming vehicle while out riding his beloved motorbike led to his death, an inquest heard.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 5:48 pm

Ian Hudson, a 66-year-old retired glazier, died from multiple injuries after crashing into the side of a Morrisons delivery van on Manchester Road, at the junction with Rivelin Valley Road, on Friday, 5 July 2019.

Ian, a husband, father and grandfather, suffered “significant” blunt force trauma to his body, multiple fractures and internal bleeding from the crash. A toxicology report following his death came back negative while an investigation into the collision found a ‘small defect’ in his bike, but this did not contribute to the collision.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ian Hudson died following a collision on Manchester Road, Crosspool on July 5, 2019.

An inquest at the Medico-Legal Centre on Wednesday (9 September) heard Ian, of Robertson Road, Walkley, rode to Ladybower Reservoir on his vintage black Lambretta scooter with a friend on the day of the crash. However, when his friend’s scooter would not start as they began their journey home, Ian headed back to collect a transit van from his house to transport the vehicle back to Sheffield.

Ian preferred to travel home along Manchester Road, rather than Rivelin Valley Road, as there are fewer hills, friends and family said. But as he approached the junction on 5 July, dash cam footage played at the inquest showed a Toyota car towing a caravan pulling out onto Manchester Road. Rather than carrying on as normal, Ian turned left at the junction and collided with the stationary delivery van behind the caravan.

PC Taylor, a roads policing officer at South Yorkshire Police, told the inquest there was no evidence of Ian speeding and he did not need to take “evasive action” to avoid a collision.

He said: “[Turning left] wasn’t the only option available.

Manchester Road junction with Rivelin Valley Road, where the accident took place.

"It [the caravan pulling out] has not happened at a point where the bike couldn’t stop. It was far enough away that he could have stopped completely, or taken slower evasive action.”

PC Taylor said Ian’s exact speed was not known. But, based on him travelling at 50mph, his bike would have been 120 metres away from the Toyota when it turned onto Manchester Road, the equivalent of 4.5 seconds reaction time. The average driver reaction time is 1.5 seconds, he said, and weather conditions were not a factor. A collision investigation report also found “no issues” with the road or signage.

Ian’s wife Lynn said he “lived a very active life” and described him as a “very experienced rider”.

She added: “He enjoyed riding his scooter, he was not contemplating suicide.

"That left turning, in my opinion, was an escape route because going down that road he saw the caravan and must have thought swerving round that was a greater hazard than trying to negotiate the left turn.”

Coroner Katy Dickinson concluded Ian took “evasive action” to avoid a collision with the caravan and recorded a verdict of death resulting from a road traffic accident.

She said: “I think he took evasive action but the reason behind that is unknown. Only he knows that [...] something has made him turn up there.”