Teen's bike death was 'tragic accident'

A TEENAGER who died after his motorbike collided with a brick pillar had been riding at 43mph in a 30mph zone, an inquest heard.

Craig Robinson

A TEENAGER who died after his motorbike collided with a brick pillar had been riding at 43mph in a 30mph zone, an inquest heard.

Ben Summerton, 19, passed away after sustaining massive head injuries when his black Honda NSR 125 collided with a post in Nacton Road, Ipswich, on January 21 this year.

At an inquest into the tragedy, Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Summerton, of Acacia Close, Purdis Farm, Ipswich, was travelling along Nacton Road in the direction of the town centre when the collision happened close to the Golden Hind pub at around 1.20am.

It is believed the teenager failed to negotiate a right hand bend and clipped the nearside kerb - sending his bike into a brick pillar at the front of a driveway.

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The catering assistant suffered multiple injuries to his head and chest in the collision and, despite the efforts of paramedics, was pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital a short while later.

Dr Dean said no other vehicles were involved and a police investigation showed there were no defects with the bike or the road.

He said alcohol and toxicology tests were negative but that Mr Summerton was believed to have been travelling at around 43mph at the time of the accident despite the speed limit on that stretch of road being only 30mph.

In recording a verdict of accidental death Dr Dean said: “Clearly what took place at that time was a tragic road traffic accident.”

Pay tribute to Ben Summerton - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

BEN Summerton's motorbike was the love of his life, his family revealed after his death.

The 19-year-old, who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2003, found using public transport difficult but discovered the freedom and independence he craved when he bought his Honda NSR 125cc bike.

His mother Wendy told how he would spend hours cleaning the vehicle, and how he loved to ride to “clear his head” after a shift at the McDonald's restaurant in Ravenswood where he worked.

Tragically, it was on one of those journeys that the horror smash took place - just days before Ben's 20th birthday.

He was in the process of finding a job working with animals and had successfully completed his Advanced National Certificate in Animal Care at Otley College in the summer of 2008.

Wendy said: “Ben was a very special young man who was just beginning to be able to enjoy the world and plan a positive future.

“Ben struggled with many challenges during his short life and was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2003, but we, his family, were always there to support him and more recently, so was his beloved dog Leon.

“In November, he became the very proud owner of a Honda NSR 125 motorbike and this enabled Ben to be truly independent for the first time in his life, as he struggled to use public transport.

“His motorbike was the love of his life and he spent some of his happiest hours riding and caring for it.

“It was sometimes hard to get to know Ben, but once he had let you in he was fiercely loyal, loving and kind and his family adored him.”

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