‘No explanation’ as to what caused Sheffield biker to crash into tree

Andrew 'Gus' Dawes.
Andrew 'Gus' Dawes.

A coroner apologised to the family of a ‘loveable’ Sheffield motorcyclist for being unable to find out why he died in a fatal crash. 

Assistant coroner Tanyka Rawden said despite hearing from medical experts and police officers she was unable to determine what caused biker Andrew ‘Gus’ Dawes to crash on Rivelin Road on August 27, 2017.

Mr Dawes, of Grenoside, who was described by his family as a ‘loveable rogue’, died in hospital two weeks later at the age of just 39.

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Ms Rawden recorded a narrative verdict and told Mr Dawes’ relatives: “I am very sorry that we can’t answer the questions you have because that’s what we try to do.

“There is no explanation we can offer and I am afraid you are probably leaving with as many questions as you came in with and I am very sorry about that.”

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John Edwards, a surgeon at the Northern General Hospital where Mr Dawes’ was taken following the crash, said the rider was a type-two diabetic and paramedics found he had higher than average blood sugar levels at the scene.

But he added he was unable to confirm or deny if that would have affected his concentration.

He said: “The circumstances of this incident may suggest a medical episode of the rider which may have affected the rider but I am unable to find a final conclusion.”

Collision investigator PC Andy Howes said he attended the scene of the incident 24 hours later and also carried out tests on the bike.

He told the inquest there were no faults with Mr Dawes’ green and black Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and nothing on the road which would have caused the incident.

He said dash cam footage from a motorist travelling in the opposite direction showed Mr Dawes veer onto the other side of the road and collide with the kerb and then a tree.

But the officer also said he was unable to establish what meant Mr Dawes was unable to control the bend.

PC Howes added: “The rider was thrown from the motorcycle and the motorcycle then slides across the road. There were no marks or evidence which could assist me to work out any pre-impact speed.”

In recording a narrative verdict, Ms Rawden said: “It’s unexplainable and so desperately tragic for someone who was an experienced rider to go out on a ride and not come home.”

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Dawes brother, Craig, 43, thanked ‘everyone who tried to help along the way’.

He said: “Gus’ motto was always that he was here for a good time, not a long time. He was a loveable rogue “

Craig said the family were satisfied that the inquest had found there was no rider error but added it was ‘bittersweet’.

He added: “We can’t fault anyone who was involved in his care – they all did what they could and without them he would have been dead not long before the crash.

“Gus loved fun, loved life and loved partying. It’s just such a sad loss.”

Hundreds of riders from across the country joined a procession at Mr Dawes’ funeral in September 2017.