Death crash driver was going too fast, inquest hears

A MOTORCYCLIST killed in a crash was driving at an excessive speed , an inquest heard today (Wednesday). Adam Branscombe, 18, of Ely Close, Stevenage, died from multiple traumatic injuries on June 24 following a road traffic collision on the A602 near To

A MOTORCYCLIST killed in a crash was driving at "an excessive speed", an inquest heard today (Wednesday).

Adam Branscombe, 18, of Ely Close, Stevenage, died from multiple traumatic injuries on June 24 following a road traffic collision on the A602 near Tonwell.

The incident happened at about 9.50am when John Gee, the driver of a 32ft-long Mercedes lorry, was attempting to turn right out of a lane onto the A602.

Daman Cripps, who was driving a Volvo lorry on the other side of the road, had stopped to allow Mr Gee to complete the manoeuvre.


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Mr Cripps told assistant deputy coroner Graham Danbury: "The next thing I saw was a motorbike come flying round the corner. He was going at quite an excessive speed.

"The bike swerved out onto the middle of the road and swerved back and caught the corner of the [Mercedes] cab.

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"It wobbled, there was a lot of brake smoke and then it dropped on its side and slid towards me."

Mr Gee said: "I was blinded by the hedges so I used clutch control to come out slowly.

"It was as quick as lightning this motorcyclist came.

"I put my foot on the brake and I honestly thought he had just missed me."

The law permits motorcyclists under 21 to ride a bike with no more than 33 brake horsepower, but the Yamaha Mr Branscombe was riding was 90 brake horsepower.

The inquest also heard how Mr Branscombe's tinted visor only allowed 21 per cent of light to filter through, when the legal minimum is 50 per cent.

Pc John Peachment, a member of the collision investigation unit at Herts Police, said he believed it was the inappropriate speed of the Yamaha and the inexperience of the rider which contributed to the collision.

He added: "When the rider came around the bend the Mercedes was already moving into the carriageway. The rider tried to pass, crossing the central white line in doing so. He underestimated the likely consequences of the decisions he took."

Mr Danbury recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said Mr Branscombe was: "A bright young lad who would have had a bright future ahead of him.

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