Dad killed in horror motorbike crash on way home from failed MOT

A dad was killed in a horror crash on his way home from a failed MOT where his motorcycle was found to have ‘serious defects’, an inquest has heard.

"Much-loved" David Marshall died almost instantly in the collision on a Cotswolds road after suffering head, neck and chest wounds, the hearing was told.

The tragedy occurred when Mr Marshall’s green Kawasaki ZX6R collided with a grey Vauxhall Insignia in February this year, Somerset Live reports.

The 39-year-old clipped the wing mirror of the Vauxhall, lost control of his bike and was thrown into a barrier and speed sign, the inquest heard yesterday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of head, neck and chest injuries.

The devastating accident happened on the B4039 between Acton Turville and Burton in South Gloucestershire on Saturday, February 24.

The mechanic, from Yate, was on his way home having been refused an MOT for his bike because a number of ‘serious defects’ could have affected its handling, the hearing was told.

The law states that you are allowed to drive your vehicle to a garage or home if you intend to repair it yourself should it be denied an MOT.

Avon and Somerset Police accident investigator Sharon Little told Avon Coroner’s Court that Mr Marshall had been overtaking queuing traffic behind a horsebox before the crash happened at about 12.55pm.

A short queue of traffic had formed behind a Land Rover pulling a horsebox in the direction of Acton Turville in a 50mph zone on the B road, which crosses the M4 motorway before sloping down into the village.

Officer Little told the inquest that the motorcyclist had been passing the queue of traffic when the car directly behind the horsebox – the Vauxhall Insignia – pulled out to overtake.

With the Vauxhall about halfway across the white lines, Mr Marshall, who was born in Manchester, was travelling too quickly to brake, the hearing heard.

So he attempted to pass on the offside between the overtaking car and the kerb.

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However, as he was making the manoeuvre, either his body or the bike clipped the wing mirror of the car, causing him to lose control and come off his bike, the inquest was told.

The father slid for almost 16 metres along the safety barrier before colliding with a 50mph sign on a short post, and was killed almost instantly, the court heard.

The driver of the Vauxhall, Michael Haskell, told police he had not heard the motorcycle or seen it in his rear view or wing mirrors.

He had been travelling with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

Investigations revealed that the motorbike’s wheels were not aligned and the bike had an oil leak.

These, among other issues, would cause handling problems when braking or cornering, the inquest heard, and were on the list of defects given in the MOT refusal Mr Marshall had been given the very same day.

Mrs Marshall, in attendance in court, said: "He was a mechanic, he would have understood the mechanics of his bike."

Other witnesses in the queue of traffic reported seeing the motorcycle "accelerating harshly", and the accident investigator said that it is likely based on witness testimony that Mr Marshall "was exceeding the speed limit".

However, there was no evidence to determine the exact speeds of the Vauxhall and the motorbike.

One witness estimated the motorcyclist had overtaken a van at 100mph moments before the collision.

Another said he had seen the Vauxhall indicate when the motorbike accelerated from behind him and passed "at very high speed".

Michael Haskell said: "I checked my rear view and driver’s door mirrors. There was no car or motorbike.

"I was overtaking the trailer and had started to approach the rear of the Land Rover when a motorcyle struck the wing mirror."

Sharon Little added: "It is unrealistic for Mr Haskell to anticipate a vehicle approaching from behind at speed."

The court heard that a post-mortem examination showed no signs of intoxication and the forensic collision investigator said the road surface was dry and in good condition.

There was also no sign of anything that could have impaired the driving or judgement of Mr Haskell.

Assistant Coroner Terence Moore concluded that Mr Marshall had died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Mr Marshall’s family paid tribute to the well-known motorcyclist.

In a statement released through Avon and Somerset Constabulary in March, they said: "David was a much loved husband, father, son and brother and as a family we are heartbroken and devastated at his sudden loss.

"David was well-known within the biker community and we thank them and our friends for all their support.”

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