Jury concludes Rhys Lungley’s death in motorbike crash near UCS waterfront building was an accident
PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:31 11 November 2015
A young Ipswich man who died after a motorbike crash last year was over the drink drive limit and not wearing crash helmet, an inquest heard.
Rhys Lungley had been at a work party with colleagues from Cineworld during the evening before the fatal accident early on July 26.
The 20-year-old, described by mother Sharon Lungley as someone with a heart of gold who would help anyone, suffered a fractured skull in the crash near UCS’s waterfront building.
At the inquest in IP City Centre, Ipswich yesterday witness evidence gathered by police suggested a number of people saw Mr Lungley riding the bike at high speed around the town without a helmet before the 2.47am accident.
Following the party, where he drank alcohol, Mr Lungley returned to his bike despite being told by friends he should not ride it.
Although no traces of any drugs were found in his body he was found to have 105milligrams of alcohol in 100millilitres of blood; the drink-drive limit is 80mg per 100ml.
Giving evidence at the inquest sergeant Ali Livingstone, duty inspector for Suffolk that night, said when officers noticed Mr Lungley, of Radcliffe Drive in Ipswich, on his Yamaha bike without a helmet and became aware he may have been drinking the decision was made not to pursue him because of the risk to his own safety.
Sgt Livingstone said Mr Lungley failed to stop for police and was seen travelling at up to 80mph, running a red light and almost hitting pedestrians near the Vodka Revolution nightclub.
Pc Dean Webb said the case had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which concluded the actions taken on the night were appropriate.
After being seen several times by officers in the 20 minutes before the accident, during which time Sgt Livingstone said he began to pose a greater risk to both himself and the public, Mr Lungley rode along the waterfront towards UCS where the speed limit is 20mph.
There he collided with a metal and glass barrier. The bike came to rest around 20 metres from Mr Lungley.
Collision investigator Pc Andrew Fossey said the road was dry with no contaminates which would have affected the bike’s ability to grip the surface.
He added there was no evidence of defects on the bike and there was no significant reduction in speed before the crash.
After just over an hour of deliberations the jury returned a unanimous verdict of accidental death, concluding Mr Lungley had suffered “fatal head injuries” in the crash which occurred after “a night out during which he consumed alcohol in excess of the legal limit.”
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