Motorcyclist dies on European trip

A British motorcycle enthusiast has been killed in a road accident in Italy while taking part in a rally.Douglas Cook, 49, from Yoxford, near Saxmundham in Suffolk was thrown more than 100 metres from his Ducati 900cc machine when it collided with a Fiat Uno earlier today, an Italian police official said.

A British motorcycle enthusiast has been killed in a road accident in Italy while taking part in a rally.

Douglas Cook, 49, from Yoxford, near Saxmundham in Suffolk was thrown more than 100 metres from his Ducati 900cc machine when it collided with a Fiat Uno earlier today, an Italian police official said.

Mr Cook had travelled with 20 other bike fans from the UK and many witnessed the accident which happened at Roverbella near Mantova in northern Italy on the last day of the motorbike rally, authorities said.

During the five-day event the bike enthusiast travelled across northern Italy and died a few hours before it ended, said a spokesman for the Bologna based tour organisers Motogiro D'Italia.

Cristiano Zanetti, an official at Mantova police station, said the accident happened close to a canal and the biker was thrown into the water.

He added: "The force of the impact threw him from the Ducati more than 100 metres and it took half an hour to locate him as the canal was covered with weeds and thick vegetation.

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"The other driver, a 68 year old man, suffered shock and minor injuries. The victim had a broken back and severe chest injuries and died at the scene."

A spokeswoman at the British consul in Milan said that Mr Cook's: "Next of kin have been informed and we are offering what help we can. Other than that I cannot say anything else as the matter is subject to an investigation by the Italian police.'

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