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Darwen man's motorbike death on A59 blackspot was ‘an accident’
12:00pm Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
THE death of a motorcyclist, who was killed at an East Lancashire accident blackspot, was accidental, a coroner has ruled.
Ronald Birch, 39, was travelling on the A59 near Sawley when his bike collided with a DAF 18-tonne heavy goods vehicle, which was turning right at the Dunbia abattoir.
The court heard how Mr Birch, a business proprietor who was born in Burnley, but lived in The Meadows, Darwen, had tried to overtake two vehicles and would not have seen the lorry indicate to turn before the collision.
Trudi Wrathwall was driving behind the HGV in her Ford Galaxy from Clitheroe to Gisburn when the crash happened.
She told the court: “The cyclist tried to swerve and I thought he was going to miss the truck, but he did not.
“He came up and as he was at my door, he attempted to pull to the right and I thought he was going to miss it.
“He was just going fast.”
The court also heard evidence from Patricia Rees-Jones, who was travelling in the opposite direction in her Peugeot 207. She said: “I heard a bang and there was a puff of blue smoke coming from the driver’s side.
“There was then, out of nowhere, a motorcycle on its side coming down the grass verge towards me and the motorcyclist was flying through the air.”
The collision happened on September 21, last year shortly before 3pm.
A police investigation found that the road conditions and weather did not play any part in the crash.
The driver of the HGV, Earnest Purcell, told the court he had not seen Mr Birch approaching when the two collided.
He said: “I went down the A59, I had my indicator on. I was about to turn in and he hit me.” Summing up, Michael Singleton, coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, said Mr Birch had died from multiple injuries.
He said: “The only and appropriate conclusion to reach is one of accidental death.
“There is more than one victim here.
“Mr Birch has paid the ultimate penalty but I recognise the distress that this has caused to family and friends.”
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Birch’s father Alan said he hoped the conclusion would bring some closure. He said: “I am just so sorry for what has happened and I feel sorry for that poor driver.
“I just hope he can get on with his life.
“It is just one of those things but it just shows what can happen in a split second.
“One minute you are here and the next you are in the hands of that man above.”
The family thanked the police family liaison officer.
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