Death collision rider thought pedestrian would stop

A MOTORCYCLIST who collided with a pedestrian in a fatal crash saw the elderly man but assumed he would stop before crossing the road, an inquest heard.

A MOTORCYCLIST who collided with a pedestrian in a fatal crash saw the elderly man but assumed he would stop before crossing the road, an inquest heard.

Bernard Packard, 81, died after suffering multiple injuries when he was in collision with the Honda Fireblade 1000cc motorbike.

The retired hospital porter had been crossing Heath Road in Ipswich as he made his way home to Spring Road after spending time with his family at a property on the Australia Estate.

But when he crossed Heath Road he had only made it part way across when he was in collision with the motorbike at about 6.20pm on March 20.


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During an inquest at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday, coroner Dr Peter Dean heard that the motorcyclist had spotted Mr Packard, a widower, in the carriageway but had been under the belief he would wait until he passed before crossing.

Pc Darren Sargent, a collision investigator with Suffolk police's roads policing unit, told the inquest: “The rider states that he saw the pedestrian in the carriageway, he was of the opinion the pedestrian was going to stop but unfortunately that wasn't the case.”

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Investigations into the collision found that had the motorcyclist taken avoiding action as soon as he saw Mr Packard the collision could have been avoided but because he didn't believe the great grandfather was going to cross he didn't think that was necessary.

Tests showed the motorcyclist, who had been travelling past Ipswich Hospital in the direction of Woodbridge Road, was not speeding or his riding impaired in any other way.

The Crown Prosecution Service later ruled he should not face charges over the accident. He suffered a broken back and the inquest heard was still recovering from his injuries.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dr Dean said: “It is clear that what took place on that day was a tragic accident.

“The motorcyclist was aware of his presence but made a judgement he would be stopping. That sadly turned out not to be the case.

“The only appropriate conclusion for me to record is a verdict of accidental death.”

Mr Packard's family said some questions remained unanswered because no witnesses had come forward after the crash.

His daughters Sandra Gosney and Linda Peto described him as “a fantastic dad and great granddad”.

In a statement they issued after the inquest, they said: “He's sorely missed. The tragic circumstances of what happened have obviously caused a lot of pain to people.

“Thank you to all those people who helped out at the scene. They tried their best to help.”

How will you remember Bernard Packard? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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