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Biker lost control on bend

PUBLISHED: 10:03 19 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

TRIMLEY motorcyclist, John Sheppard, died after losing control of his machine on a sharp bend of a rural road and sliding into the path of an oncoming car, an inquest has heard.

TRIMLEY motorcyclist, John Sheppard, died after losing control of his machine on a sharp bend of a rural road and sliding into the path of an oncoming car, an inquest has heard.

Mr Sheppard, 46, of Brick Kiln Close, Trimley St Martin, died in hospital after the accident on the A145 at Shadingfield, between Halesworth and Beccles, on October 13, last year.

An inquest heard yesterday that Mr Sheppard, a keen and experienced motorcyclist, had ridden to Beccles with his friend and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Mervyn McKeown.

Mr McKeown, 50, from Melton, near Woodbridge, said they were returning home and at about 4.45pm they were riding through the village of Shadingfield.

"I was aware that John was riding behind me and as I negotiated a series of bends near the church I glanced in my mirrors to see if I could see him.

"I could see the brake lights of the vehicles travelling in the opposite direction and as there were no vehicles coming my way I realised something was wrong," he said.

When Mr McKeown went back along the road he found there had been an accident and discovered Mr Sheppard and his motorcycle lying in the road.

Car driver Neil Luckett, 24, from Loddon in Norfolk, told the inquest how he was returning home after visiting friends in Ipswich when the accident happened.

"I remember watching one motorcycle going past me in the opposite direction when all of a sudden there was this second motorcycle that was over the white central lines and on my side of the road," he said.

"It appeared to be out of control and I steered as far as I could to the left but there was a loud bang."

Mr Luckett said he was left "very shaken" by the accident but did not believe he could have done anything to avoid the collision.

Motorist Shaun Crowley, from London but who was living in Beccles at the time of the crash, was travelling in a car immediately behind Mr Luckett.

He said: "I saw the motorcyclist as he came round the bend and he was banking in an effort to get back to his side of the road when he lost control.

"Both the motorcycle and the rider slid along the road and into the car travelling just in front of me."

Accident investigator Pc John Rogers, of the Halesworth Traffic Unit, said damage sustained to both the car and the motorcycle confirmed what Mr Luckett and Mr Crowley described.

"There were no defects with either vehicle that could have led to the accident.

"The extensive damage to the motorcycle confirms that it slid along the road and into the path of the car," he said.

Lowestoft Coroner, George Leguen de Lacroix, recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest at Southwold Methodist Church.

"Mr Sheppard was an experienced motorcyclist and there is no evidence that he was riding in a dangerous way," he said.

"It appears, however, that he lost control on a sharp bend and slid into the path of an oncoming car."

Mr Sheppard was taken to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston following the accident but died the same day from multiple injuries sustained in the crash.

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