Motorcyclists tragic accident in the Cotswolds
By Court reporter | 10th September 2021
A ride by two motorcyclists through the Cotswolds on a windy day in March this year (2021) ended in tragedy when one of the bikes hit the other from behind, an inquest heard.
The gusty wind conditions on the A40 in Gloucestershire that day may have contributed to the fatal collision, the inquest was told.
The rider who died, Tara Edwards, 54, of Lovell Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxon, was on a black Honda CBF riding ahead of companion Norman Coombes through Shipton Oliffe towards Andoversford on March 21st when the collision happened, the Gloucester inquest heard.
Mr Coombes touched the rear wheel of Mr Edwards' motorbike and he fell to the road, suffering injuries from which he later died in hospital.
PC Simon Edwards, a police accident investigator, told the inquest: "The weather was fine, dry and partially overcast at 1.20pm on March 21. However, the winds in the area were gusting at some strength at the time of the accident.
"The winds were significant. During my time at the crash scene I noticed the winds varying from nothing at all to being very strong.
"As a motorcyclist myself, I know that unexpected gusts can have the effect of moving the rider off line and generally this is easily corrected.
"But in this incident, where there were no mechanical defects to either motorbike, the collision occurred when one motorcycle struck the other.
"This could have been for several reasons but the most likely scenario is the strong gusting cross wind catching the motorcyclists off guard.
"Norman Coombes, the rider of the second motorbike, a Honda CBR, said in his statement that they travelled about two and a half metres apart from Mr Edwards and that he had noticed the wind had picked up during the journey.
"He stated that a strong gust of wind from his right side caused him to react in such a way that he collided with the motorbike being ridden by Mr Edwards."
The inquest heard that Mr Edwards became separated from his motorbike and fell from its offside and slid down the road leaving scuff marks behind him and resulted in him receiving a number of serious injuries.
Mr Edwards was conveyed to Southmead Hospital in Bristol by air ambulance, but despite medical intervention, he later died.
Mr Coombes, from Abingdon, Oxon, also sustained a number of injuries and was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital by ambulance.
The assistant coroner for Gloucestershire Roland Wooderson stated that Mr Edwards' medical cause of death was recorded by the medical team in Bristol as an uncontrollable haemorrhage and multiple severe injuries to bones on lower limbs caused by a high speed motorcycle collision.
Mr Wooderson said: "I have taken into consideration all the evidence put before this inquest and in particular the weather, as the strong winds were a contributor factor into Mr Edwards's death."
Coroner's conclusion: Road traffic collision.
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